NHL Picks: Take Reloaded Kings To Win Over Weakened Rangers

Dana Lane

Thursday, March 17, 2016 5:34 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 17, 2016 5:34 PM GMT

The Kings have a breathing room, by 4 pts., in the Pacific Division. They can extend their lead to 6 pts. with victory and a Sharks loss. The Rangers come off a fought win over the Ducks last night.

Kings Preview
The Los Angeles Kings can personally thank the New York Rangers for their breathing room in the Pacific Division but they can all but nail down the Pacific with a victory and a Sharks loss.  

After the Ducks overtook the Kings for the lead in the Pacific Los Angeles went on a 9-2-1 run to move up my power ratings to the two spot. The Kings are also chasing the top spot in the Western Conference. They trail the Dallas Stars and St. Louis by two points with two games in hand on the Stars and three on the Blues. With a win they will be able to pull even with the Blues as the Stars won't play until Saturday against the New York Islanders.

 

Rangers Summary
It's difficult not to be impressed with Los Angeles after shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-0, Monday and 5-2 over Dallas the night after. They are one of the few teams, that I can say, I haven't seen take a night off. Because I handicap from the goaltender out, the credit has to go to Goaltender Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth who make up the second best goaltender duo in the league behind Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. In Quick's last two starts he has a 0.96 goals against average and a .964 save percentage. Going back to his last four starts, Quick is 3-0-1 with a 1.45 goals against average. His numbers against the Rangers solidify my opinion. In 10 career starts against the Rangers, Quick is 7-3 with a sparkling 1.97 goals against average. 

On the other side of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist has not allowed less than three goals in his last three games, losing all three, with a ballooned 3.71 goals against average and a save percentage just over 90% over that span in his last two games. Keep an eye on Rangers defensemen, Ryan McDonagh, after being hit in the face with a puck by an Anaheim shot. He laid on the ice for awhile before skating off. We expect him to play tonight but how effective he will be will only be know during the game. 

 

Match Overview
The Rangers have been floating around the 10th spot in my power ratings because of their inability to show consistency. Real Cup contenders don't display a 7-17 record after a victory in their last 24 attempts. If the Rangers were just .500 in that span, you would be talking about them trying to close in on the Capitals rather than how they are going to hold the Islanders off. 

The NHL odds are this is a little higher than I would like, but we have to back the Kings here as our NHL pick until the Rangers can show some playoff grit.

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Free NHL Pick: Kings -160
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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