Los Angeles Kings will host the Chicago Blackhawks in Thursday’s action of the NHL 2021-22. The hosts look forward to keeping their playoffs spot but should be more consistent. The away side is far from the top-four zone, but they eye another victory on the road.
Los Angeles is on the right track to the post-season, but the home side should avoid any signs of complacency. They are comfortable in the top three but should improve consistency. On the other hand, Chicago cannot be happy with its campaign since they will end it in the regular season. Nevertheless, the visitors want to book a few more victories.
Los Angeles Kings – Will they stabilize their form?
The Kings have been running hot and cold over the past few weeks, and they booked three wins on the previous seven occasions. Nevertheless, the hosts are second in the Pacific Division with a 35-22-8 record, being six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights. Los Angeles heads to this match after beating the Predators 6-1 in a game they dominated. The Kings had ten shots more than their rivals, while Jonathan Quick allowed just one goal for a .960 save percentage.
Anze Kopitar has been the most productive player for the Kings this season, having 54 points and topping the assists charts with 38. Trevor Moore has contributed with 40 points, while Adrian Kempe – the Kings’ top scorer with 28 goals – needs one more point to reach the 40-mark. Viktor Arvidsson managed to produce 38 pts, Phillip Danault has one less, while two skaters have 31 points each. Regarding the goaltending, Jonathan Quick has been the first-choice goalie for Los Angeles, making 36 appearances. He allows 2.65 goals per match, having a .909 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Jonathan Quick, Mikey Anderson, Matt Roy, Adrian Kempe, Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault
with best odds
Chicago Blackhawks – Can they book another road win?
It has been a disappointing season for the Blackhawks, as they are far from the playoffs zone, being 7th in the Central Division with a 23-32-9 record. Nevertheless, they managed to stop a three-game losing streak by beating the Ducks 4-2 on the road. Although their campaign will end in the regular season, Chicago wants to book a few more wins in their columns. Patrick Kane led them to the victory against Anaheim by scoring a goal and making two assists.
He has also been the Blackhawk’s most productive player this season, having a total of 74 points and being the team’s best assistant with 54. Alex DeBrincat tops Chicago’s scoring charts with 35 goals, producing 58 points in total. Seth Jones has contributed with 42 pts, while two other skaters managed to chip in with 37 points each. On the other hand, the Blackhawks have certain issues on the goal and in defense. Marc-Andre Fleury has been their first-choice goalie with 45 appearances, but he allows 2.95 goals per contest, having a .908 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Marc-Andre Fleury, Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach
Expert Pick #1 – Kings to win in regulation time @-135
Although they haven’t been too consistent lately, I believe the Kings will meet expectations and celebrate an important win on the home ice. They could win this match in the regulation time, and I’ll back them on that market as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6 @-110
The Over cashed pretty often for both teams this season, especially when the Kings are favorites on the home ice or when Chicago is a road dog. This one shouldn’t be much different, and I expect at least six goals in total. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Kings Over 3.5 @-105
The Kings are averaging 35 shots per contest, and they are 4th best in the NHL by that parameter. Since the Blackhawks have issues in defense, I can see Los Angeles producing at least four goals in this match. The odds are slightly higher than in the first two picks, and I’ll go with this one as my second alternative.