The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings meet on Sunday at the Staples Center. It’s been an ugly stretch for the Kings. They’re in the midst of an ugly stretch of ugly, with losses in six straight games. Note that five of those games all came at home. Their only loss on the road, the most recent, came against the Ducks. It put a dent in what was a stellar record for the Kings. They currently hold a record of 24-17-5, so they gave away a pretty good position.
The Kings are just hoping that this is a minor bump in the road and isn’t a sign of things to come. In any event, this is a good time to hit a hole in the road. You don’t want to hit that hole in the spring. With a record of 24-17-5, the Kings are currently on the outside looking in. The Avalanche, believe it or not, are in possession of the final wildcard, as it stands now. A lot will change between now and April, so nothing is lost yet by a long shot.
The Kings have to show some signs of life, though. They’ve been looking dead, mainly on offence, but it’s been a poor overall effort from the Kings. All they need is some bounces to go their way, and I suspect they break out of this slump. The Rangers are out in California for a west coast road trip. This is the second leg, after they took a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche yesterday. The Rangers started out slowly this season, but have since stabilized and have things under control. At the end of the day, the Rangers and the Kings records are just about identical, as the Rangers are 24-17-1 on the year. The Rangers started off badly out of the gates, while the Kings are currently hitting their snag at the moment. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Kings pick on Sunday night.
N.Y. Rangers vs. L.A. Kings Pick
There must be a better overall effort from the Kings. It stars on getting the offence going. They’ve been getting nothing out of their goal scorers through this stretch. During the six-game losing streak, the Kings have averaged only 1.83 goals per game. In their last three outings, they managed just 1 goal in each. That’s fine, though, it’s how teams respond to losing streaks which separate the winners from the losers.
If the Kings can bounce off this and get back to playing good hockey then all is well. Overall, they are 20th in the NHL with 2.8 goals per game. Defensively they’ve been stellar, as the Kings are 1st in the league, allowing 2.43 goals per game. That seems way high for a team in 1st compared to the last few years, but goal scoring has been up in the NHL this season.
The Rangers have won just four of their last ten games. They have responded since a dreadful start, but they are still trying to get a nice run put together. The Rangers will have to if they want to be playing in the playoffs. In their last ten games, they’ve averaged just 2.2 goals per game while allowing 2.8 goals per. That’s about where the Kings are in their last ten outings as well. The Rangers are just 7-9-0 on the road this season, so don’t expect much from them on this road trip. The Rangers have only one win this season playing on a back-to-back. I expect us to see the Kings finally end this drought and put a win up on the board tonight.
PICK: KINGS (-140)