On a day where most will be watching Tom Brady play in yet another big game, Kings fans will tune in as their team takes the ice for an afternoon game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The two teams met on Friday for the first time this season, with the hometown Golden Knights taking a 5-2 victory. Congratulations are in order, as Vegas’ AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, won their first game ever Saturday against the Ontario Reign by the same 5-2 score as the big club.
Sunday’s game will likely see Cal Petersen in net for LA. While Jonathan Quick has been far from the biggest issue on the Kings, Petersen in net bodes well for the Kings. In three appearances versus Vegas, the Kings goalie has posted a .947 save percentage. Of the five goals he’s allowed in those games, three of which came on the power play. If Petersen plays to similar levels, the Kings will be in great position to walk away with two points.
Look for special teams to be the difference on Sunday. In LA’s three wins on the year, they have either taken less or the same number of penalties as their opponents. They have three power play goals in those wins and have only allowed one against. Simply put, the Kings are hampered with injuries on the blue line and winning the special teams battle is the easiest way to overcome their deficiencies defending.
Let’s look at a few bets for Sunday’s Kings and Golden Knights match up:
LA Kings money line
Once again, Sunday feels like a pivotal game for the Kings early in the season. At 3-5-2, the team is desperate for points and things can easily snowball if they can’t find ways to win games. Alex Pietrangelo will once again be out of the lineup for Pete DeBoer’s squad. When a player of his stature isn’t playing, you have to take advantage of those opportunities. At +210, there’s some good value if you believe the Kings can bounce back and beat Vegas.
Alec Martinez to score
The former Kings defender certainly can contribute in the offensive zone, even if he will never be a team’s top offensive threat on the back end. During his career, Martinez has scored goals against 25 teams. Of the six franchises he hasn’t scored on, three play in the Eastern Conference. The three Western teams he hasn’t lit the lamp against? LA, St. Louis, and Calgary. At +540, we like him to score his first goal against his former team.
Both teams to score in period 1
That first period scoring differential we mentioned last time has only gotten worse, with the Kings facing a 14-4 scoring difference during the first 20 minutes of play. Todd McLellan can’t be happy with that statistic, especially when his team has dominated the second and is near even in the third. The game seems so much easier when you’re not playing from behind. Expect an improved effort to start Sunday’s game.
Looking for more betting picks? Make sure you follow @HockeysBestBets for my daily picks from around the league. You can also follow my personal account at @AndyTonge1 for my insight on the Kings and much more. Good luck and happy betting!