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New Jersey Devils vs. L.A. Kings
NHL: Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST
In a rare afternoon game, the New Jersey Devils head west to the Staples Center to take on the L.A. Kings in a non-conference showdown. The Kings (23-35-6) were shut out by the Devils (25-27-11) in Jersey earlier this month and look to avenge that bad loss.
Rare Streak Comes to an EndThe Devils have had a tough season with the third-fewest points in the Eastern Conference and they had a rare three-game win streak snapped in their last game in a 3-2 OT road loss to the San Jose Sharks. In the game, the Devils had a 2-0 after the first period but could not hang on. Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev scored in the losing effort and Cory Schneider (1-6-2 4.08 GAA) stopped 27 of 30 shots in the loss after he picked up his first win of the season in his previous game.
I would think #1 G Mackenzie Blackwood (21-12-7 2.73 GAA) would get the start against the Kings, as he was in goal in the shutout win earlier this month against the Kings and the Devils have won his last six starts.
The main issue for the Devils this season has been a defense that ranks 27th in the league in GAA but the team has not allowed more than three goals in their last six games. They only allowed four goals in winning three in a row before their last game giving up three goals. Kyle Palmieri leads the team in points and goals but only has one goal and one assist in the last five games. On the season New Jersey is 13-17-1 on the road.
Defense Gets the Job DoneIn their last game, the Kings were at home and handed the Pittsburgh Penguins their fourth straight loss with a great defensive effort beating them 2-1. D is key for L.A., as they rank second to last in the league in goals per game and they have only totaled five goals in the last three games. The Kings have the fewest points in the Western Conference and had lost two in a row before the win over the Penguins. In that game, Blake Lizotte and Trevor Lewis lit the lamp for L.A. and Cal Peterson (2-3-0 3.02 GAA) had a solid game stopping 35 of 36 shots. #1 G Jonathan Quick (13-22-4 2.96 GAA) may get the call against the Devils and he has only allowed one goal in two of his last three starts.
Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter are the top two goal scorers for the Kings, and they have only combined for 35 goals. Kopitar leads the club in points and assists as well and he has a goal and four assists in his last five games Carter has been out for a few games and is a question mark for this game. This season the Kings are 14-13-2 on home ice.
According to the betting trends from Oddsshark.com, the L.A. Kings are:
According to the betting trends from Oddsshark.com, the New Jersey Devils are:
- 2-5 in their last 7 games against teams from the Western Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Devils had their three-game win streak snapped in their last game and they look to get back in the W column against a Kings team they shut out at home earlier this month. The Kings have not been bad at home and I am taking them in this game, as they played good defense in their last game and I think Quick will get the start in goal. He only allowed one goal in his last start and I think he will have another good start in this game. L.A. lacks firepower, big time, but with their defense playing well on home ice they will send New Jersey pacing with a loss.
Full-Game Total Pick
I am taking the Under in this game with the main reason I am going with the Kings to win. More often than not when they get the W they win with their defense since they are the second lowest-scoring team in the NHL. New Jersey is also a team that does not light it up often ranking 24th in the league in goals per game. The first game between these teams in New Jersey went Under earlier this month and that is the pick for this game as well.