The Carolina Hurricanes put on a defensive clinic last night, as they shutout the Arizona Coyotes for a 3-0 win at PNC Arena. Petr Mrazek was awarded with a shutout for stopping all 32 pucks that came his way. It’s a big win for the Hurricanes as they try and keep pace with in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders, Penguins, and Capitals are all ahead of the Canes despite a rock solid record of 26-16-2 and 54 points.
That’s not good enough for the top of the division, with the Capitals sitting at 65 points. If this were the Pacific, the Hurricanes would be tied for 1st with the Golden Knights and Coyotes, but they don’t and they’re going to have to deal with living in the most competitive division in hockey.
If the playoffs were to begin today, the Hurricanes would go to the playoffs as the top wildcard team. With the Flyers at 52 points and the Panthers at 51, there isn’t much separating the playoffs from sitting home. It’s not like the NBA where mediocre play gets rewarded with a bottom seed in the playoffs. Only good teams reach the playoffs, and that’s what causes it to be so wide open.
There are two or three quality teams who aren’t going to be playing hockey in the spring, one of which could be the Hurricanes. Nothing is a guarantee and they’re currently a bubble team despite playing solidly enough in 2019-20. After the run they went on last season, it’d be a tough pill for the Hurricanes to swallow if they get left out. Considering how close things are running for the Hurricanes, they can’t afford to treat the Kings lightly tonight.
The Golden Knights didn’t treat the Kings seriously on Thursday night and paid for it with a 4-0 deficit at the first intermission. LA aren’t a well built team at the moment, though they can have a surprising showing if the opposition plays as lazy as the Knights did in that meeting. There was nothing sloppy about what the Hurricanes did last night. It was a textbook win over a Coyotes team who can be a dangerous squad. Head below for our free Kings vs. Hurricanes pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Odds:
Kings vs. Hurricanes Prediction:
Expect to see James Reimer between the pipes tonight for the Hurricanes. Mrazek will more than likely get the night off after registered a shutout on Friday. Reimer has been a decent enough backup option for the Hurricanes. There are a lot of teams in the NHL who do not have a reliable No. 2, though Reimer has been serviceable enough in the crease.
He owns a 2.77 GAA and 0.91 save percentage, which is better than several starting goaltenders can say in the NHL. Reimer has looked sharp against the Kings in his career. He’s posted a 2.29 GAA and 0.93 save percentage in seven games against the Kings. This is one of the worst seasons we’ve seen from the Kings offensively in a while, so he should benefit from playing this version of LA.
You wouldn’t have known that the Kings are having a down season by looking at what they did against the Golden Knights on Thursday night. Despite a back-to-back situation, the Kings looked like the much fresher team. They struck early against Macolm Subban, and kept it coming with 4 goals in the 1st period.
The Kings rarely score 4 goals a game, let alone in one period of play. For their 5th goal, the Kings found an empty net, so the Kings weren’t able to do much for the next two periods. It was a good feeling for a team who haven’t found much offence this season, though. The Kings are 28th in the NHL with 2.57 goals scored per game, and there’s a steep decline on the road.
The Kings have netted just 2.42 goals per game on the road this season, so don’t worry about the 4 goals they buried versus Subban. Outlier performances are going to happen, and I wouldn’t read too far into what they did against Vegas. They’re going to be a lot further from home in this one on the east coast in a different time zone. The defence has taken a sizable dive on the road versus the STAPLES Center.
Jonathan Quick goes from a respectable 2.51 GAA and 0.912 save percentage at home to a 3.60 GAA and 0.876 save percentage as a visitor. Overall, the Kings have yielded 3.11 goals per game, though that numbers tanks to 3.46 per game on the road. The Hurricanes have been decent in back-to-back situations this season, with wins in four of seven games. They should be able to take care of business here, as we see the Kings regress following a strong performance in Las Vegas.