NHL Picks: Senators vs. Kings Wednesday

David Lawrence

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 1:17 PM GMT

We preview tonight's NHL matchup between the Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings, hoping to help you decide where to place your NHL picks tonight.

The Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings are both hoping to climb the ladder in their respective conferences. For that to happen, both teams need to start scoring goals. While it’s true that defense and goaltending can win Stanley Cups, it’s hard to win games when you’re not putting the biscuit in the basket. Entering Wednesday’s matchup both of these teams are ranked 15th or worse in goals per game in this young season.

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The Ottawa Senators can win because…

This is going to be their type of game: low-scoring with a focus on defense and goaltending. The Los Angeles Kings are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. They’ve managed to score just seven goals in three games so far, which is not going to cut it. They haven’t been able to top the three-goal mark in any of their contests.

Ottawa is the same type of team and while they don’t score a lot, their defense and goaltending tends to lead the way. This team isn’t built to go on the road and win shootouts. Even though this is a long road trip for them – all the way to the west coast – this is a manageable game for them.

The Los Angeles Kings can win because…

The Senators aren’t going to threaten them very much. In a battle of goaltending and defense, taking Jonathan Quick at home tends to work out quite well. Although he had a bit of a brain cramp against the New York Rangers on Monday night when he allowed a freakish goal, he’s normally hard to beat at home. Hockey experts that make NHL picks should note that Quick was 13-4-1 at home last season with a 1.79 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

Ottawa managed just one goal on the road in Buffalo on Friday night and while they totaled four on Saturday night in Toronto, that was more because James Reimer had an off night. In Los Angeles, the Ottawa should get muzzled.

Check out our NHL Picks of the Day for more free plays.

Outlook & Pick

This is a matchup of two identical teams as both are offensively-challenged, both have solid defense and stellar goaltending. If you’re betting the side, you’re probably considering the Kings because they are playing at home and that home-ice advantage is particularly valuable given how Quick plays at home versus on the road. However, if you’re betting the Senators, it’s because you don’t really feel like laying juice with the Kings – especially since they are coming off a disappointing home loss to the New York Rangers where they cost bettors -150. If the Rangers can win at the Staples Center, surely the Sens will have a shot too.

Instead of picking a side, I’m going to go with the under in this contest. But the NHL odds are offering a low total, but that’s the play that makes the most sense here. I can’t bring myself to take either side as the Sens offense can’t be trusted on the road in this spot while the Kings aren’t worth the price at home. But both teams have good goaltenders, so under is the play for my sports picks.

Pick: Under 5 at Bookmaker
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