The NHL is set up with another solid slate of action throughout Friday night. Seven games are up on the board throughout April 9. One of these matchups will be between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks. These two teams have been solid throughout this season, which should lead to a great game. This one will drop the puck at around 10:30 PM Eastern time.
Los Angeles has put up a record of 15-17-6 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in seventh place of the West Division. The Kings are only seven points back from a playoff spot and will look to try and make a push. Los Angeles is coming off a win in their last game, but have lost six of their last eight games. The Kings will look to build on their last win in this one.
The Sharks have earned a record of 17-17-4 throughout this season, which has them in sixth place of the West Division. San Jose is five points out of a playoff spot and will look to move up in the standings with a win. The Sharks lost their last game, which ended a four game winning streak. San Jose will look to bounce back with a big win in this one.
These two teams are still in the playoff hunt, which should lead to a good game in this one. San Jose has been a bit stronger this season, but the Kings are not far behind. The Coyotes and Blues are ahead of these two teams in the standings, but both teams can still get back in the race with a nice winning streak. I expect both teams to try and set the pace early in this one as they look for a win.
The Kings and the Sharks have met up six times throughout this season. Los Angeles hosted the first two games of the season series on February 9 and 11. Logan Couture had a goal and an assist and scored the winner in the shootout. San Jose was able to earn a 4-3 win in this one. Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Carl Grundstrom and Anze Kopitar all had a goal and an assist to help lead the Kings to a 6-2 win.
San Jose hosted the third and fourth game of the season series on March 22 and 24. Logan Couture and Ryan Donato both scored a goal for the Sharks in the third game as San Jose won 2-1. Evander Kane had two goals in the fourth game of the season series. Martin Jones stopped 42 of 44 shots as the Sharks were able to earn a 4-2 win in this one.
The fifth and sixth game of the season series shifted back to Los Angeles on April 2 and 3. Rudolfs Balcers had a goal and two assists in the fifth game. Martin Jones stopped all 30 shots he faced to help lift the Sharks to a 3-0 win. Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc both had a goal and an assist in the sixth game as San Jose won 3-2 on the night.
These two teams have met up plenty of times throughout this season, which should lead to a good game in this one. San Jose has won the last four meetings against the Kings and five of the six games this season. The Sharks will look to keep up that success in this one. Los Angeles will look to bounce back after this loss to San Jose a week ago.
Los Angeles has been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. The Kings have capitalized on 28 of their 127 power play chances, which is a 22.1 percent success rate. Los Angeles has killed off 94 of their opponents 111 power play attempts, which is an 84.7 percent kill rate. The Kings will look to keep up their special teams success in this one.
The Sharks have not been great on either side of special teams this season. San Jose has scored on 19 of their 105 power play opportunities, which is an 18.1 percent power play. The Sharks have not been much better on the penalty kill. San Jose has given up 25 power play goals on 124 penalties against, which is a 79.8 percent penalty kill.
The Kings have a big edge on special teams entering this matchup. Los Angeles has been much better on the power play and penalty kill entering this one. San Jose has also taken more penalties than they have drawn, which could give the Kings an even bigger edge. If the Sharks cannot stay out of the box in this one, Los Angeles could take over with some power play goals.
Calvin Petersen will likely get the start in the net for the Kings in this one. Petersen has started in 20 games this season, going 7-9-4. He has posted a save percentage of .923 and a 2.57 GAA through his starts this season. Petersen’s last start was against the Arizona Coyotes, where he stopped 28 of 32 shots in the losing effort.
I expect Martin Jones to get the nod between the pipes for San Jose on Friday night. Jones has earned a record of 14-8-2 throughout his starts this season. He has put up a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 3.07. Jones finished with 29 saves on 33 shots in his last start against the Anaheim Ducks, which was not enough for the win.
Los Angeles also had the edge in net in this one with Petersen getting the start. Calvin Petersen has been strong throughout this season and the Kings will look to give him some help on the offensive side. Martin Jones has been strong in his last few starts against Los Angeles and will look to keep it up in this one. If the Kings can put a lot of pressure on Jones early, it could be enough for the win.
The Kings have lost four games in a row against San Jose and will look to bounce back in this one. Los Angeles had an edge on special teams and in net, which could give them the win in this one. The Sharks have had the Kings number this season, but I think Los Angeles will win this one. If they can come out quick in this one, I think they can pull off the upset on the road.
BetOnline has San Jose listed as a -133 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Sharks will win this game around 57.1 percent of the time. These two teams are close in the standings, which makes this line seem a bit too big. I think Los Angeles will bounce back in this one. As pretty big underdogs in this one, I really like the value on the Kings.