NHL Picks: Kings Winning Streak Will Continue Tonight vs. Avalanche

Bruce Webster

Monday, January 4, 2016 12:20 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Kings come in off a hard fought 2-1 home win over the Flyers, while the Colorado Avalanche come in off a  loss to the Calgary Flames, who will be our NHL pick?

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NHL Pick: Kings -134
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Kings Top Flyers, Win 5th in a Row
The Los Angeles Kings have the 2nd best record in the West, but still they are eight points behind Dallas in the Conference. Despite that this team is playing some exceptional hockey and is becoming a real threat in the West. The Kings have now won five games in a row, following a 2-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday. For The Kings it starts with the play in the crease, where Jonathan Quick has been hot as he has won all five games of the streak, allowing a total of seven goals during the streak. Quick is now 22-10 with a 2.12 GAA on the year, including 11-6 with a 2.22 GAA at home, while vs the Avs he has gone 13-5 with a 2.25 GAA.

The defensive end of the ice is where the Kings have really excelled this year as they check in at 1st in the league in goals allowed, giving up just 2.2 gpg, while ranking 7th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on just 16.8% of their chances. The offense has not been strong for the Kings, but it has been better of late as they have scored 20 goals in the last five games combined. Overall they are 13th in scoring; putting up 2.7 gpg, while converting on 20.2% of their power play chances, which is 9th in the league. Scoring for the Kings in the win over the Flyers was Dwight King (2nd) and Drew Doughty (7th), who both scored in the first period. The Kings are turning into a very complete team and will be a serious threat to win the West this year.

 

Avs Get Blanked at Home by the Flames
That is something that won’t be said all that often as the Flames are the worst defensive team in the league, while the Colorado Avalanche average 2.9 gpg at home. If the Flames could shut them out then what will they do vs Jonathan Quick in this one? The Avs did get off 26 shots in the game, but just one in the 3rd period. They just couldn’t get anything past Karri Ramo in the game. This was just the third time they have been shutout this year. The Avs are now 8th in the league in scoring; putting up 2.79 gpg, while also ranking 8th in power play conversions at 20.3%.

Semyon Varlamov got the start in the game and was pulled after allowing four goals. Calvin Pickard then came on and didn’t allow anything else the rest of the way. Varlamov should get the start here and he is now 12-13 with a 2.73 GAA, including going 6-9 with a 3.35 GAA at home, while vs the Kings he is 5-5 with a 2.07 GAA in his career. The Avs are not a good team on defense as they check in at 23rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.8 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on 80% of their power play chances, which is 15th in the league. Let' check the NHL Odds and look for the latest betting trends first.    

 

Trends
Los Angeles is:

14-3 in their last 17 vs. the Western Conference

7-1 in their last eight vs. the Central

Colorado is:

6-14 in their last 20 vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600

0-4 in their last four home games

 

Betting Analysis
The Kings are going one way, while the Avalanche are going the other way and I expect that to continue here as the NHL pick. Los Angeles is on a five game winning streak and they are running away with the Pacific Division. They are getting great play in goal, while their offense seems to be waking up. The Avs were just shut at home by a pretty bad Calgary and I don’t look for them to rebound from that vs a much better Kings team.