The Los Angeles Kings make the short trip over to Anaheim for a meeting with their neighbours on Monday night. They’ll be at the Duck Pond looking for their third win in the last four games. The Kings are fresh off a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night. In the midst of a west coast road trip, the Jets didn’t look interested in playing in that one. They were heading into LA on a back-to-back, having beaten the Ducks the night before. On a normal night, the Jets likely don’t allow the Kings to get 2 points off them, but they were caught in a bad spot. That said, credit the Kings for showing up and competing with a good Jets team. They haven’t had much to celebrate this season, but a victory over the Jets is something for them to feel good about.
It is the Kings’ second win in three games against a good team. They were sharp in a 4-1 win against the Islanders on Wednesday, so those are a couple of wins against playoff calibre teams. Like the Jets, the Kings were able to take advantage of an Islanders team who were a long way from home. The Islanders weren’t nearly as active on the ice as we’re used to. Losing the physicality part of a game isn’t common for the Islanders, but don’t show up to play against any team in the NHL and it’s probably going to result in a loss. The points that the Kings pick up this season are nothing more than window dressing, though. They aren’t going anywhere meaningful this season and enter Anaheim with a record of 11-14-2.
The Kings have 24 points for dead last in the Western Conference. They aren’t too far behind the Ducks at this point. A win in regulation would put them in a tie with the Ducks and past the Blackhawks if they lose to the Blues tonight. There are a lot of teams still spaced too closely together in both conferences, but the pretenders will begin to rear their ugly heads soon. January is typically the do-or-die month, just ask the Blues, they know all about that. I do know that the Kings are not a contender to go to the playoffs despite their solid performance against the Jets and Islanders.
Anaheim have been on a slide with losses in five of their last six games. They will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak following a 3-0 loss against the Jets on Friday. A couple of nights off came at the perfect time for the Ducks. Meanwhile, the Kings are on the heels of a back-to-back, having played on Friday and Saturday night. They’ve been trash on the road this season, but we’ll see if they can find some momentum after the win over Winnipeg. Head below for our free Kings vs. Ducks pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Odds:
Kings vs. Ducks Prediction:
The Kings have been using the city of Los Angeles to their advantage this season. There has been some spots this season where they’ve outplayed teams because of the spot for their opponents. The Islanders and Jets were a perfect example of that, as they came into LA feeling way too loose and not focused on playing hockey against an inferior team. They failed to take the Kings seriously on the road and paid for it with a loss. The team that we saw in those games has been non-existent on the road, though. The Kings have struggled terribly with a record of 2-9-1 as a visiting club. They’re the only team in the league who hasn’t won at least 3 games on the road up to this point.
The minimal success they’ve had this season is a result of taking advantage of teams going into Staples Center too comfortable on a road trip. When their opponent is actually trying and has some energy, the Kings are typically on the other side of the coin. Their 2-9-1 record on the road is indicative of a totally different effort outside of the Staples Center. The Kings have notched only 2 goals per game on the road.
In their last seven roadies, the Kings have scored only 1.1 goals per game, which is pretty difficult to do no matter how bad the team is. October 8th, only their second game of the season, was the last time that the Kings scored more than 3 goals in a game on the road. A matchup against the Jets on October 22nd was their last 3-goal effort in that capacity as a visiting team. Offence hasn’t been the only issue for the Kings. They’ve allowed 4.17 goals per game, so that’s a lost margin of 2.17 goals per game.
The Ducks’ most recent showing against the Kings was this past April near the end of the 2018-29 season. Anaheim dispatched LA by a score of 5-2 at the Honda Center. The Kings are losers in three of their last four games in Anaheim. So, while the distance travelled on the road might be one excuse for their shoddy performances in opposing arenas, that excuse doesn’t work when they play the Ducks in Anaheim.
John Gibson has been spectacular against the Kings in his career, with a 1.89 GAA and 0.935 save percentage in 15 games. He hasn’t been great on the road, but has been solid in Anaheim, having posted a 2.55 GAA and 0.92 save percentage in eleven outings. On the other end, Jonathan Quick has been getting hammered for a 4.46 GAA and 0.846 save percentage in eight games. Expect a response from the Ducks after their loss against the Jets. LA is likely feeling content with the way they handled the Jets on Saturday, and should continue their poor play on the road in Anaheim.