Our NHL consultant breaks down Monday’s game between Tampa Bay & Los Angeles. Join us in reading his informative NHL betting preview article on this contest which concludes with a money line selection.
Lightning at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Kings will entertain the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at 10:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Pinnacle, the Kings are a -150 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. This will be the second meeting of the season between these clubs, and Los Angeles was a 4-2 winner at Tampa Bay just ten days ago.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has scored 22-goals during their last six games, and that equates to an impressive 3.7 tallies per contest. As a result, they’ve seen five of those six games go over the total. Tampa is coming off a 5-2 road win at San Jose last night. Ben Bishop was the winning goaltender and stopped 33 of the 35 of the San Jose shots on goal. Bishop will be given a rest tonight, and backup Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the nod. Vasilevskiy has been solid in eight appearances this season, evidenced by a sparkling .932 save percentage in those outings. Tampa Bay has seen 20 of their 29-games (69%) on the road this season go over the total.
Turning on the Proverbial Switch
The Los Angeles Kings enter tonight having won their last four games in a row. Ironically that win streak started at Tampa Bay on February 7th. The defending Stanley Cup champions still have their work cut out for them in order to just qualify for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the season were to end today, the Kings would be on the outside looking in. They’re three points behind the Calgary Flames who hold down the final wild card position in the Western Conference. The Kings are an experienced group that surely won’t panic, and they’ve proven in the previous three seasons that they just need to make the playoffs, and they’ll take care of the rest from there. Case in point, Los Angeles has been to three consecutive Western Conference Finals, and won two of the last three Stanley Cups, despite never finishing higher than a #3 seed. As a matter of fact, the Kings two Stanley Cup winning runs came as a number six seed in 2014, and as number eight in 2012.
This will be a tough spot for the Tampa Bay Lightning to come away with a win. They will be playing with no rest, in addition to their backup goaltender being between the pipes tonight. This will be just the third game in the last seven days for the Kings, and all of those contests will have been played on home ice. This is about the time of the season when the Kings turn on the proverbial switch to urgent mode. Take Los Angeles on the money line with your NHL picks tonight.
NHL Free Pick: Kings -150 at Pinnacle.