Los Angeles Kings (25-36-8) vs Nashville Predators (39-27-5)
Pekka Rinne (24-18-3) vs Jonathon Quick (13-19-6)
NHL Hockey Thursday March 14 2019 10:30pm Eastern
Line and Odds: Nashville -200 Over/Under — 5.5
FREE NHL Score Los Angeles Kings vs Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators make the trip to L.A. to take on a KIngs team that is playing like they want the first overall pick. Coincidentally, both teams last played against Anaheim, Nashville most recently on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss in which they got down 3-0 after two periods and scored two goals with under six minutes left to make it interesting. The Kings picked up a rare win versus the Ducks on Sunday, taking the game 3-2 and scoring all three goals in the first. The win snapped a three game losing skid and was just the second win in the King’s last 15 games. The Predators are looking to keep pace with the Jets as they sit only one point behind them for first place in their division. The Kings are tied with Detroit for second lowest point output and could benefit more from a loss here.
The Kings are in one last free-fall before they can finally scrap this season and reap the rewards you get for being so bad in a certain year. Sunday marked the first time in ten games Los Angeles held their opponent to under three goals, when they did it against these same Predators, they still lost that game. The Kings are heavily disadvantaged by their lack of scoring talent and poor special teams, as they rank in the upper half of the league in even strength goals allowed but hold the third worst penalty kill and have scored the second fewest goals overall.
Los Angeles’ biggest strength seems to be maintaining a lead as they are a convincing 18-4-2 when they score the first goal of a game. 72% of their wins have come when this one metric is fulfilled but their problem is they have allowed the opposing team to score first nearly two-thirds of the time, winning only 16% of those particular games. The Kings have also only won 3 games when trailing after the first period, making them a club capable of holding success but not capable of keeping up with high powered scoring teams.
The Predators are in pursuit of a second straight Central division title and in general are trying to play their best hockey as the playoffs loom. They have lost their last two to the Hurricanes and Ducks and fell in Anaheim allowing just 18 shots on goal. Nashville’s special teams have also suffered as they are second to last in power play percentage this season at 13.9% despite getting the fourth most power play opportunities. Tuesday against the Ducks was their first game scoring multiple power play goals in all of 2019 and they have only managed to score a PP goal in back to back games just once this calendar year.
Nashville also struggles against a weaker Western Conference on the road and when they are the favorite. The Preds are 8-3-3 versus eastern foes on he road while going 9-11-1 on the road against the west. They hold an average 22-20-2 overall record against the west too, despite being 17-7-3 when playing the east. Their mediocrity against their own conference is troubling as they will have to go through a gauntlet of talented teams if they hope to reach their second Stanley Cup Final.
The total has gone OVER in 15 of Los Angeles’s last 21 games
Los Angeles is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Nashville
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Los Angeles’s last 13 games when playing at home against Nashville
Los Angeles is 2-13 SU in its last 15 games
Nashville is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Nashville’s last 10 games on the road
Nashville is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Nashville is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
FREE NHL Prediction Nashville Predators vs Los Angeles Kings
This is a must have game for Nashville if they want to keep pace in the division title race and hold off the Blues from the second spot. The Kings have given me confidence that they are a capable team and I expect them to be unable to keep up with the Predators talent and physicality. Nashville has won the first two match-ups this year and I am betting on them to sweep the series in a low scoring “grind it out” type of game.