Los Angeles Kings (23-27-4) at Boston Bruins (29-17-8)
NHL: Saturday, February 09, 2019 at 1:00 PM ET (TD Garden)
Line & Odds: Los Angeles Kings +1.5/ Boston Bruins -1.5 — Over/Under: 5.5
Free ESPN NHL Picks Boston Bruins vs Los Angeles Kings
For tonight’s matchup, we have the Boston Bruins hosting the Los Angeles Kings, who look to keep their strong play up, at TD Garden.
The Boston Bruins have been one of the stronger team in the Eastern Atlantic division all year as they sit at the top of the Wildcard spot for the time being. Earlier in the season, the Bruins had to deal with some injury problems with Patrice Bergeron sitting out at least a month. Luckily, with the emergence of David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, the Bruins have been able to keep their offense at a respectable level. However, they have proven to be a bit inconsistent as they average 2.85 goals per game (T19th in NHL) and 33.0 shots on goal (6th in NHL) on 8.6% shooting (26th in NHL). As you can tell they are a fast paced team, but have little control, so it is that much more important for them to score on 27.1% of power plays (3rd in NHL) and win 51.1% of their faceoffs (9th in NHL). Defensively, the Bruins are a bit inconsistent as well as they are able to hold opponents to just 2.56 goals per game (4th in NHL) and 30.6 shots on goal (11th in NHL). Those aren’t bad numbers at all, but their focus when it comes to penalties is lacking severely. They allow 9.8 penalty minutes per game (30th in NHL) and they kill just 79.5% of them (18th in NHL). While they have had tremendous help between the sticks from both starter Tuukka Rask and back up Jaroslav Halak, those numbers just won’t cut it if the Bruins want to make noise in the postseason. Also, an interesting fact I realized about this Bruins team is that no one player has been a huge positive or negative for this team as no player has a plus/minus in double digits.
The Los Angeles Kings have been a shell of themselves ever since they were dominating the league a few years back. They have missed the postseason twice since the won two Stanley Cups in three seasons and this season will be their third time missing out. Now they sit towards the bottom of the league with only Detroit, New Jersey and Ottawa doing worse. They are led by Anze Kopitar with 40 points and +2 plus/minus. He leads he team in goals, assists and shot %, which goes to show that aside from him the Kings have very little help. Dustin Brown has been serviceable with 31 points and an even plus/minus, but after that there is close to no help. The next four point leader for the Kings each have a plus/minus of -10 or worse. For that reason exactly, the Kings possess the worst offense in the league averaging 2.33 goals per game (30th in NHL), 28.6 shots on goal (28th in NHL) on 8.2% shooting (30th in NHL) while also scoring on just 15.2% of their power plays (28th in NHL). These numbers are far from good and when you match them with the Kings defensive numbers it is easy to see why they are one of the worst teams in the league. They allow 2.94 goals per game (15th in NHL), 31.7 shots on goal (20th in NHL) and they kill just 76.1% of opponent penalties (29th in NHL). Not even the excellent play of goalie Jack Campbell, who is putting up 2.12 GAA and .933 Sv%, could save them from their poor play.
Cover The Spread 365 NHL betting trends
2-4 ATS & SU in their last 6 games
2-5 ATS & SU In their last 7 home games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 games
4-1 ATS & SU in their last 5 games
5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 6 games
ESPN NHL Scores Los Angeles Kings vs Boston Bruins
While the Boston Bruins have certainly been the better team over the course of the season, it has been the Kings who have been the better team as of late. They’ve even been solid on the road, so the pressure is definitely on the Bruins to win this one.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings +1.5