NHL Picks: Rangers to Continue Hot Streak Against Kings in Back-to-Back Clash

David Lawrence

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10:57 AM GMT

The New York Rangers are coming off yet another impressive win. On Tuesday, they’ll get a chance to continue their hot streak and kick a team that’s down. The Los Angeles Kings beat them in the Stanley Cup final last season but they can put a dent in their playoff hopes by cashing in on the NHL betting lines.

The Los Angeles Kings Can Win Because…
This will be familiar territory for them. They dominated the Rangers in the Stanley Cup final last season and will feel right at home when they visit on Tuesday. They’ve won five of the last eight meetings between the teams and two of the last three at Madison Square Garden.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick has been more like himself since the All-Star break as he’s posted a 1.98 GAA and a .924 save percentage since then. That’s a sharp contract to the .912 save percentage and 2.47 GAA beforehand. He’s allowed just 11 goals in his last eight starts, which means he’s giving the Kings a chance to win each and every night. If he plays like that on Tuesday, the Kings will have a chance to get the much-needed two points.

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The New York Rangers Can Win Because…
They’re an unstoppable force right now and they're currently listed as short favorites at home on the NHL betting odds. The Rangers continue to win and tear up everything in their path. After Sunday’s 7-2 stomping of the Anaheim Ducks, they’ve now won seven of their last eight games. Cam Talbot has been phenomenal between the pipes as he has an incredible .961 save percentage this month. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his last nine starts and he’s allowed a total of 13 goals in that span. That’s phenomenal.

The Rangers are a changed team from the one that the Kings beat in the Stanley Cup final last season as their defense is still just as good – even with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined – but their offense has picked up the pace to match. They average 3.00 goals per game this season, which is the third-best number in the league. They managed to score four goals in their first meeting with the Kings this season, which was in Los Angeles.

The other factor here to keep in mind is home-ice advantage. The Rangers are 23-8-5 at home this season while the Kings are just 13-14-7 (or 13-21) on the road. And Quick has a measly .906 save percentage with a 2.64 GAA away from home compared to 2.00 and 9.24 at home. The Rangers are the better choice for your NHL picks.

 

Outlook
The Rangers are better team here and with home-ice advantage as well as the fact that the Kings are in a back-to-back situation, there’s no sense in taking the Kings. The Kings definitely need the points but they’ve dropped three of five and have scored just eight goals in those five games. They aren’t playing particularly well right now and the Rangers would love nothing more than to kick them while they are down. This is personal.

NHL Pick: Rangers -140 at 5Dimes