The Los Angeles Kings are on the road in Denver this weekend, as they are scheduled to play the Colorado Avalanche in back-to-back games on Friday and Sunday. The Kings are coming off a sloppy performance against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night. They were sloppy at home and it resulted in a 6-2 loss at the Staples Center.
This was two days after they dropped a 4-2 decision against Vegas. Cal Petersen allowed 4 goals in 41 shots in the first game for a 0.902 save percentage, while Jonathan Quick had a frustrating evening with 3 goals allowed on 8 shots to get chased out of the game. Petersen entered to give up 3 goals on 24 shots for a 0.875 save percentage.
The Kings were playing some decent hockey and show improvement from last year, but haven’t been in good standing recently. They head to Denver with losses in six of their last eight games. Since April 7, the Kings have beaten the Coyotes, 4-3, and Sharks, 4-2. The Coyotes and Sharks are both below .500, so not exactly marquee wins for the Kings.
They finished with a record of 29-35-6 and 64 points for second-last in the Pacific Division. I don’t believe the Kings were expecting to flip a switch and turn things around completely, but some form of competitiveness and flirting with a record of .500 would be a nice goal for them. They were around that mark not too long ago, though the recent skid has pushed them to 16-20-6 and 38 points.
For a team that used to pride itself on being physical, they’ve lost that aggression over the years. While the goaltending has regressed significantly with Quick between the pipes, his defence has not been providing him with the most help over the last few years. Has Quick’s play regressed? Yes, but that can be said for the whole team, who got older and couldn’t retain talent in free agency.
The Avalanche should provide the Kings with a big challenge on Friday night. Despite dealing with goaltending problems this season because of injuries, the Avalanche are still the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz are both out of service at the moment for the Avs between the pipes. Colorado is coming off a 4-3 win over the Blues on Wednesday night. They’ve won four in a row going into tonight. Head below for our free Kings vs. Avalanche pick on April 16, 2021.
Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche NHL Betting Odds:
Kings vs. Avalanche Prediction:
The Avalanche have turned to veteran Devan Dubnyk with their No. 1 and No. 2 goaltenders injured. Dubnyk is not going to provide the kind of production that Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer can, but he’s serviceable enough to give one of the most potent teams in the NHL some support. Francouz is done for the season after undergoing surgery recently. Grubauer is out at least two weeks with Covid. With both on the shelf, the Avalanche have turned to Dubnyk and Jonas Johansson between the pipes.
Dubnyk is not expected to be terrific, so I can’t say he’s been horrible. However, Dubnyk certainly hasn’t been good. He has posted a GAA of 3.17 and 0.899 save percentage. There isn’t much else to expect from Dubnyk. The 34-year-old, who was recently acquired after 13 starts with the Sharks this season, has conceded at least 3 goals in his past four performances. In his debut with the Avalanche, Dubnyk allowed 3 goals on 34 shots against the Blues on the road. If Dubnyk doesn’t have a flawless game, he can probably expect to get some solid goal support from his teammates, though.
The Kings have been lost defensively recently with 3.7 goals against in their previous ten outings. That seems like terrible news against a Colorado team that has notched 4.1 goals per game during that span. Overall, the Avs lead the NHL with 3.6 goals per game and 34.8 shots per game. They have dealt with several injuries this season, but head coach Jared Bednar has done a terrific job with this team. While I have confidence in the Avalanche scoring tonight, I don’t know about paying -290 on Dubnyk or the puck line with the chance for a backdoor. The OVER does look like an interesting option in this contest, though.