The Los Angeles Kings had a rough run of it on the road in Canada. They dropped all three games, one to the Maple Leafs, then next to the Senators and Canadiens.
On the bright side, they only allowed three goals to be netted per game. And the one against the Sens came as an overtime loss.
The most recent loss in Montreal was kicked off by Shea Weber’s first-period power-play goal. And it was only 15 seconds after that Weber goal, the fourth line of the Canadiens blasted past Adrian Kempe and plugged in another goal to put the Kings down two to zip. It was starting to look like another game where LA Would give up five goals.
But the Kings got back in it, and for the most part … the defensive bleeding was assuaged. And young Blake Lizotte got his first career goal in that 3-2 loss the Canadiens. The Kings came back hard, slapping 31 shots at Montreal’s Carey Price, yet he minded the net well, only allowing two pucks through. The biggest take away is the stretch of five goals allowed per game seems to be thoroughly staunched.
Where Does This Road Trip Leave the Kings?
Unfortunately, the losing streak puts the Los Angeles Kings on the very bottom of the Pacific Division for the time being. Five wins, 11 losses, and 1 OTL amounts to just 11 points. However, the Kings are just two games behind the Sharks and just three games behind the Ducks, who have accumulated 19 points. The Canucks and Golden Knights are at 21 points and tied for the middle of the pack, so with one good winning streak, the Kings could be right back in the mix.
After such a long road trip, the Kings are blessed enough to sit on their own throne for a few days. They’ll be hosting the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, and the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
Because of recent performance, online sportsbooks have the Kings listed as slight underdogs against the Wild on Tuesday. The Kings are netting an average of 2.86 goals per game at home on almost 38 shots. Meanwhile, the Wild are putting up 2.25 goals per game on the road off of 28 shots, but have a much higher PP/PK percentage; 13.16 vs. the Kings 6.45. Defensively, the Minnesota Wild are allowing 3.75 goals to slip through on 30.75 shots per game. The Kings are allowing slightly less, at 3.29 on 30.71 shots.
This is a game that the Kings should win. They just came off a tough week of road play north of the border … and finally get to play in front of their home crowd once more. It’s important to remember that the Wild, although they hold a series advantage over the Kings over the last 10 games, they are just 2-5 against the Kings over the last seven meetings in LA.
It’s also safe to expect a shootout in this one. The Minnesota Wild have crashed the OVER on the total pucks scored in six of their last seven games, and OVER the total pucks scored has hit in 7 of the last 10 times these two teams have met. To top off the fact that there will be goals scored, the Kings have broken the total in six of their last nine home games, and in four of their last five games against Western Conference foes.
Los Angeles can start the week off with a win over the Wild and build momentum for their home game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, where the Kings are substantial, -167 favorites on the early odds boards. With a few wins under their belts, LA could very well find themselves back in the thick of it.