Playoff-Hungry Kings Motivated to Continue Domination of Oilers

Dana Lane

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

The Kings, desperate to keep pace in the Pacific, host the Oilers tonight. That's good news for L.A. and for your NHL picks, considering the home team has controlled this series recently.

Wednesday NHL: Oilers vs. KingsFree NHL Pick: Kings -130Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Hopefully you got up early with the "Ice Guys" for another winning day. At last count we had close to 1,100 views. I was a goal away from another 3-0 night on Tuesday, but we’ll take 2-1 every day. See you again Thursday morning at 9 ET. In the meantime, let’s get you another winner right here.

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The LA Kings are looking to start out strong tomorrow night against the Edmonton Oilers!

Be there to watch >

— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 6, 2018

I know it was against the Arizona Coyotes, but when the Los Angeles Kings handed them a 6-0 defeat on Saturday you couldn’t help but wonder who the Kings really are. Was that the start of a winning streak that would put them back in a playoff spot, or was this the team that was handed a shutout of their own against the Nashville Predators, 5-0, on Thursday?

The answer is, if they continue to get quality goaltending, the Kings are a bet-on team.

Jonathan Quick will likely get the start in net tonight. Quick is being pushed for the starting spot by Darcy Kuemper, who has been nearly unbeatable. Kuemper hasn’t allowed three goals or more since December. In his last seven starts he is 5-1-1, allowing just 12 goals.

The good news for us is when a guy like Quick gets pushed, the everyday starter usually steps up to show he is still worthy of "main guy" minutes.

The win against the Coyotes was the Kings' second straight against the Pacific Division after dropping five straight prior. This is the time of year when real contenders must start making their moves, especially important to Los Angeles considering they’ll likely have to finish in the top three in the Pacific to acquire a playoff spot, considering the strength in the Central.

General Manager Rob Blake knows he’ll likely have to make a move before the Feb. 26 trade deadline to jump into the three automatic Pacific slots. When a team knows some changes are likely, I feel as if they get stronger in the short term. Players are either trying to show their current team they’re worth keeping, or other guys are begging to get out of town. Either way, you get a focused effort.

Los Angeles was tied for second in the division on Jan. 1 but since have posted a 5-8 record, which included a six-game losing streak.

Trade-deadline motivation might not be the only positive for the Kings heading into tonight’s game, in which they are favorites on the NHL odds board. The home team in this series has won seven of the past eight meetings, and the Oilers have dropped 13 of their last 16 visits to Los Angeles. The Kings have won 23 of their last 31 meetings overall, and with your NHL picks you should not expect tonight's outcome to be any different.

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