Rangers to Break Mini-Losing Streak at Kings' Expense

Dana Lane

Friday, December 15, 2017 5:50 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 5:50 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Kings are desperately trying to hold off the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division, while the New York Rangers are focused on breaking a two-game losing streak Friday night as the two face off. 

Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3217544, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,1389,180,238], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NHL Pick: Rangers -110Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

Even the best prognosticators never expected the Vegas Golden Knights to be in second place with a game in hand in the Pacific Division on December 15, 2017, yet, here we are. The Los Angeles Kings are feeling the heat and need every point they can muster knowing they’ve already dropped a game against the Knights. Easier said than done, traveling across country in an unfamiliar environment and temperature.

Before I get into tonight’s game, make sure to visit the SBR odds page. There isn’t a better page that gives you more information than this one. Also, check out the "Ice Guys Show" with myself, Ian Cameron and Alex B. Smith on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. We’ll go over every game on the busy Saturday schedule.

We always try to get ahead of the curve when trying to identify streaks, and both Los Angeles and New York are starting to form trends that back our Rangers play. The Kings have a trend forming that shows they’re not a great bounce-back team after playing a game in which they lost focus on defense. On Tuesday they allowed five goals to New Jersey, an uncharacteristic outcome for a Kings team that leads the league in goals allowed per game (2.28). The trend goes back to last season but we did see one example this season, when Los Angeles gave up five goals to Tampa Bay, then dropped their next game to San Jose, 2-1. That lapse in defense spun the Kings into a streak in which they lost seven of their next eight games.

The Rangers seem to be riding a trend in which they bounce back well from a loss. Recently, New York dropped games to Florida and Washington and in both cases they not only won their next game but did so with ease. It's a short sample size, but Alain Vigneault’s team has won six of its last eight games after dropping its previous game.

New York hasn’t played well as of late, but when Henrik Lundqvist is your starter at Madison Square Garden you have to take notice. Lundqvist is 11-3 at home with a 2.44 goals-against average; on the road his GAA is 3.24, a direct reflection of his 3-5 record. For puckline bettors, the Rangers have been a solid bet, winning eight of their last 12. That tells me that not only are the Rangers the side tonight, but they could win this game handily.

comment here