Time to Capitalize on Los Angeles’ Trip to Washington

capitals kings

Dana Lane

Thursday, November 30, 2017 6:17 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 6:17 PM GMT

Los Angeles continues its road trip with a visit to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Capitals at the Capital One Arena with a puck drop of 7 p.m. ET Thursday.

Free NHL Pick: Under 5.5Best Line Offered: Matchbook

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Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals

Back on the winning track as the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators easily cashed another winner Wednesday night. We try to make it a streak tonight with the Washington Capitals as they look to earn their 10th win this month -- with a victory the Capitals would tie a team record for the most wins in a month. Pretty good for a club that everyone left for dead in the offseason.

I must admit that this game was a little harder to handicap because you never really know what you’re going to get when a team has more than a few days off. Usually the more veterans on the team the more I think they’ll come back strong after a layoff, but that hasn’t been the case with the Caps, who would rather play more often, a fact that is supported by their 3-9 record when coming back after three or more days off. On the other side, the Kings have dropped six of their last seven when playing on one day of rest. Hard to take anything from either team's recent form, but I do have one concern that keeps me from Los Angeles.

Do the Kings have the ability to find another level to their play when facing the upper crust of the league? Recently we’ve seen them drop games to Vegas, Winnipeg, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Boston; all teams that made the playoffs last season or are on track to get there this season. Now they face a team that has allowed just 10 goals in its last 5 games. The Capitals defensemen aren’t known for their athleticism, but against a slower-paced team like the Kings it's more likely that they will do their part to cash our UNDER ticket.

We know that there won’t be offense coming from the Caps blueline as only John Carlson has more than four points among defensemen over Washington’s last 10 games. No, their responsibility is to corrupt the neutral zone and keep Braden Holtby from facing too many shots, which has been an issue early on but against Toronto and Tampa Bay the Caps managed to hold both team under 30 shots, in fact, Tampa managed just 26. So now they get matched up against the Kings, who have lacked scoring depth over their last 10 games.

Only Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the LA first line have put fear into the heart of opposing goaltenders. The Kings' bottom nine haven’t done anything to give me confidence that they’ll make a difference. The Caps' depth scoring has been a little better, but nothing from the third and fourth lines.

Going up against two excellent goaltenders in Jonathan Quick and Holtby with two offenses that have been anemic doesn’t bode well for OVER bettors.

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