The Los Angeles Kings are back at the Duck Pond in Anaheim following a 4-2 loss on December 2nd. The Kings were in good form in their most recent outing, as they dispatched a disinterested Rangers team at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. That’s truly been their calling card in the 2019-20 season. Take advantage of a team not interested in playing on a road trip and pick up an easy 2 points.
Jonathan Quick was on the verge of shutting out the Rangers and he gave up a late goal to break up the shutout. It was the same story for Marc-Andre Fleury, as he gave up a meaningless goal as well to break up a shutout opportunity. In any event, it was a good moment for Quick who has struggled mightily this season. Mind you, he hasn’t gotten much help, but it was nice to see him look like vintage Quick for a night.
The Kings will look to make it two wins in a row for only the third time this season against the Ducks of Anaheim. Anaheim was responsible for kickstarting a four-game losing streak for the Kings earlier this month. The Kings were trounced in Anaheim, and then lost three more games vs the Capitals, Oilers, and Flames. They ended that with a win over the Rangers on Tuesday. The Kings stand at 12-18-2 heading into Thursday, which is good for the basement of the Western Conference.
It’s going to be difficult for the Kings to be worse than the Red Wings this season. But, they are still going to have a lot of ping pong balls in the draft lottery. The Devils won the lottery without finishing last a season ago, so tanking doesn’t exactly work all the time. Anaheim aren’t too far ahead, as they welcome the Kings with a record of 13-14-4 and 30 points.
They put up a mirage early in the season with some decent play. However, their current talent level isn’t enough to sustain anything real. They’re coming off a nice shootout win over the Wild on Tuesday to account for their first win in three games. Head below for our free Kings vs. Ducks pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Odds:
Kings vs. Ducks Prediction:
The Kings have 13 wins mainly because of where they play. Teams heading into LA aren’t taking them very seriously, and ultimately decide to use the game as a free pass instead of actually trying. No free passes are handed out in the NHL, though, even against a team like the Kings. The Kings should start to learn that anything isn’t handed out on the road. They’ve been abysmal on the road, as they continue to get punished with loss after loss outside of the Staples Center. They enter the Honda Center looking for only their third win on the road, as they sport a record of 2-12-2.
There is usually expected to be a bit of drop off on the road for most teams, but not as drastic as what the Kings are doing. Overall, the Kings are 29th in the NHL with 2.5 goals scored per game. That’s not good by any measure. However, things plummet down to only 2 goals scored in 16 games as a road team. When they aren’t beating teams who don’t care in Los Angeles, they’re getting hammered in other arenas. The same goes for Quick between the pipes, as he’s struggled considerably. Quick owns a 4.20 GAA and 0.85 save percentage in nine outings on the road. As a team the Kings have allowed 4 goals per contest.
The Ducks have had some success against the Kings in Anaheim. In their previous five meetings at the Honda Center, the Ducks have won four of five games. That included an average of 3 goals per game against only 1.8 goals scored for the Kings. John Gibson has been tremendous in his career against LA. He’s played them 15 times over the years and has come up big in the vast majority. Gibson owns a 1.89 GAA and 0.935 save percentage vs the Kings. With the Kings struggling to score on the road, he should be able to put in a productive night at the office in the crease. The Kings are auto fade material every time they step on opposing ice. At a reasonable price, consider a play on the Ducks on Thursday night.