Sharks vs Kings: Home Favorite Our NHL Pick Tonight

Bruce Webster

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 12:40 PM GMT

The San Jose Sharks will be hoping to end a two-game losing streak when they pay a visit to the Staples Center for a date with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

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NHL Pick: Kings -163
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

A steady Burns
San Jose defensemen set a franchise record by combining for 25 shots on the net in last Thursday’s win over Toronto. Brent Burns has been especially effective of late. He finished with six shots on goal against the Maple Leafs and had seven the next night against the Senators. Burns leads the Sharks with 148 shots, 20 of which have come in the last four contests.

In an overtime loss against the Blackhawks on Sunday, however, Sharks’ blue-liners combined for only seven shots (three by Burns). The visitors had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 but could not seal the deal before going down in extra time.

Burns has 12 goals and 16 assists for the season and he boasts two goals and three assists in his last three outings. The 30-year-old is second in the entire NHL in shots with 148, trailing only Washington star Alex Ovechkin (160).

 

Coasting in the Pacific
The Kings have the fewest points (42) of the NHL’s four division leaders as of Monday afternoon, but they have the biggest lead (tied) at eight points. None other than San Jose sits in the second spot. Amazingly enough, Los Angeles has captured only one division title in franchise history (1990-91). The team was an eighth seed when it won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and a third seed when it triumphed again in 2014.

A big reason for the Kings’ Pacific dominance is center Anze Kopitar (nine goals, 11 assists). Kopitar’s numbers are not exactly off the chart, but he owns 13 of his 20 points in his last 14 games. Defenseman Drew Doughty (five goals, 14 assists) continues to be one of the NHL’s best at his position and a front-runner for the Norris Trophy. He scored a goal and added one assist in last Thursday’s defeat of Montreal.

 

Trends
The San Jose Sharks are:

2-8 in their last 10 overall

2-5 in their last seven road games

3-12 in their last 15 trips to Los Angeles against the NHL odds.

The Los Angeles Kings are:

6-0 in their last six home games

10-2 in their last 12 games against the Western Conference

8-3 in the last 11 meetings between the two teams

 

Betting Analysis
The Kings may be reeling from their most recent performance, but they are clearly a different team at home than on the road. Kopitar and Doughty should be able to help extend the road woes of San Jose. In addition to the aforementioned numbers, the Kings are 7-3 in their last 10 overall and 4-0 in their last four playing on two days of rest. The Sharks are 1-4 in their last five against opponents with winning records and 1-5 in their last six against the Pacific Division. Look for the trends to continue as the Kings will roll to be our NHL pick.