St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings, 01/12/17 – Expert Prediction
Written by: Benjamin Hayes
St. Louis Blues (21-15-4-1, 18-15 O/U) at LA Kings (20-17-1-3, 13-21 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Jan. 12, Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif., 10:30pmET
Line: LA Kings -140/St. Louis +120
The St. Louis Blues have won three straight games against Nashville. They’ll attempt to win a game on the road after going 3-3 in their six-game home stand. The LA Kings fell in their last game at home to Dallas on Monday, 6-4.
Blues need to pick it up on the road
St. Louis is 5-10-1 on the road this season as they now begin a three-game, four-day road trip on Thursday against the Kings in Los Angeles. The Blues have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games. They faced the Kings on Oct. 29 and beat the Kings, 1-0 in overtime. Goaltender Jake Allen saved 27 shots, bt since then, he’s struggled. In Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Boston, he gave up three goals on 11 shots and was pulled That was the third time he’s been pulled from goal in the last five outings. Carter Hutton came in and turned aside 26 of 27 shots against Boston. On the road this season, Hutton is 0-3 with a 3.81 goals-against average.
The Blues rank eight in the NHL in goals per game at 2.8 and 28th in shots at 27.9. They also rank fifth in the power play at 22.6 percent and ninth in face-offs won (51.1%). They rank 24th in goals against (3.0) and sixth in shots against (27.9). RW Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues in scoring with 20 goals and 23 assists in 41 games.
Kings have lost 7 of 11
The Kings fell to Dallas 6-4 at home on Tuesday. They got behind 3-1 after two periods and never recovered. D Drew Doughty and C Anze Kopitar led the way with one goal and one assists apiece. Goalie Peter Budaj struggled, stopping just 17 of 22 shots and was replaced by Jeff Zatkoff at 7:31 of the third period. This was not a routine game for the Kings, who entered the contest against the Stars with the third stingiest defense in the Western Conference.
On the season, the Kings average 2.5 goals per game (21st) and rank 11th in shots per game with 30.3. They also rank 17th in the power play (17.8%) and first in shots against (25.8). They rank eight in goals against (2.5) and first in shots against (25.8). Jeff Carter leads the Kings with 22 goals and 15 assists (37 assists).
St. Louis is:
- 2-8 last 10 playing on 1 days rest.
LA Kings are:
- 6-2 last 8 playing on 2 days rest.
- 17-7 last 24 in series.
The Kings will bounce back from a poor defensive effort. They also dominate the Blues in recent history at home, winning 11 of their last 12 meetings.
Pick: LA Kings -140
Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!
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