Playoff-Hungry Kings to Do What They Do Best vs. Blackhawks

Monday, February 19, 2018 1:53 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 1:53 PM UTC

Los Angeles has dominated Chicago in recent seasons, winning five of the past six meetings. Can the Kings, who are on a long road trip, continue that trend tonight?

Monday NHL: Kings vs. BlackhawksFree NHL Pick: Kings -102Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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We had another easy winner Sunday night when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs slid "under" the total. Our bankroll continues to fatten up. For tonight's NHL picks we go to Chicago, where the Blackhawks host the Los Angeles Kings.

On the NHL odds board, the Kings opened as -111 favorites but were quickly bet down to -102 as money poured in on the Blackhawks. There are a few books that have taken in more Kings money but, overall, Chicago backers have pushed this number down, a benefit to us.

The Kings can still smell a playoff berth, which is why every game is of extreme importance. Right around this time of year is why teams that finish in the seventh or eighth spot in the conference become a dangerous assignment for their playoff opponent. These are the teams that have been playing "playoff hockey" for two months just to be a part of the top eight.

Los Angeles must start putting wins together and they must do it against teams such as Chicago, which likely will not be in the playoffs. The Kings broke a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win Saturday at Buffalo as part of their seven-game road trip.

“I thought the start of the game was different and was a big reason we won the game,” Kings coach John Stevens told the team’s official website. “I thought we did a lot of good things. It wasn’t just the first line, I thought we had a really good rotation through our lineup where guys were really playing fast, we got pucks up to speed, and we were getting pucks in behind.”

Jonathan Quick (22-21-2, .920, 2.51) will start in goal for the Kings, Anton Forsberg (6-11-3, .908, 2.95 GA) for Chicago. True, Quick’s numbers aren’t nearly as good as they have been in the past but I’m much more comfortable with him than I am Forsberg, who hasn’t allowed less than four goals in his past four starts, all losses.

The Kings don’t have a lot of offensive depth but their top line of Anze Kopitar (63 points, 58 games), Alex Iafallo (six points last 10 games), and Dustin Brown (40 points, 57 games) have been extremely reliable.

The United Center proved to be a friendly place for the Kings earlier this season when they won 3-1. Los Angeles has won five of the last six meetings with Chicago, which is just 11-30 against the West. Time to cash another winner.

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