The NHL finishes out the three day weekend with four games on the board for Monday night. One of the matchups set for MLK Day is between the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings. These two teams are both sitting out of the playoff picture to this point in the season and will look to try and help turn it around with a win on Monday night. The game is set to start at 4:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
St. Louis has started this season with a record of 21-21-5, which has them in sixth place of the Central Division. The Blues are coming off a win against the Ottawa Senators. St. Louis has won four of their last six games and will look to keep it going with a win on the road on Monday night. The Blues have been doing much better as of late and have a chance to make the playoffs if they keep playing at this level.
The Kings have had a really tough start to this season after making a lot of solid moves in the offseason to try and make a deeper playoff run this season. Los Angeles has a record of 19-26-4, which has them in eighth place of the Pacific Division. The Kings are coming off a 7-1 blowout loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. Los Angeles will look to come out strong to bounce back from that tough loss.
Monday night’s matchup between the Blues and the Kings will be the second game of the season series. St. Louis and Los Angeles will meet one more time on March 7. These two teams are sitting outside the playoff picture, but if either team could pick it up in the second half of the season, they could still make a playoff push. Both teams have the talent to try and finish competitively this season.
The Blues and the Kings met up a total of three times last season. St. Louis won the first game at home 4-2. The Kings bounced back on the road in the second game though, winning 4-1. The final matchup of the season series moved to Los Angeles, where the Blues won 7-2 on the road. The Kings were able to sneak into the playoffs as a wild card, while St. Louis finished right outside the playoff picture at the end of the season.
The first matchup of this season’s series was hosted by the Blues on November 19. St. Louis could not get their offense going as they got shut out on the night. Matt Luff scored the game-winning goal about halfway through the second period. Anze Kopitar put the icing on the cake with an empty netter near the end of the game. Jake Allen stopped 25 of 26 shots, while Calvin Petersen stopped all 29 shots he saw to help give Los Angeles the 2-0 win on the road.
These two teams have been tied up 2-2 against each other in the last two seasons. Los Angeles was better last season, but the Blues have been the better team this season. I expect these two teams to play a tight game on Monday night. It was a tightly contested game on November 19, and I believe it will be the same way on MLK Day.
The Blues have been hit pretty hard with injuries as of right now. Tyler Bozak, Erik Foley, and Robert Thomas will all miss Monday’s matchup against the Kings. David Perron and Zach Sanford could both miss Monday’s game as well. Perron is tied for first in goals with 17 and second on the team in points with 35. Bozak has put up 18 points this season.
Los Angeles has not been doing too badly with injuries at this point of the season. The Kings will be without Jonny Brodzinski and Trevor Lewis for Monday night’s matchup. Los Angeles could also be missing Oscar Fatenberg for the Kings game against St. Louis. The Kings are missing some solid depth players, but are not missing any key players like the Blues for Monday night’s game.
I believe that Jordan Binnington will get the start in net for St. Louis on Monday night. Binnington has a record of 4-0-1 in his five starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .936 and a 1.62 GAA. Binnington has not been in a lot of games, but he has made his starts count. The Blues will need Binnington to put up another good game if they want to pull off a victory on the road.
Jonathan Quick will likely start in net for the Kings on Monday night. Quick has a .903 save percentage and a GAA of 2.96 this season. In his starts, Quick has a record of 8-12-3. Quick has not been doing great this season, but he has not had a lot of help from his defense. Quick will need a big bounce-back game after allowing five goals against the Avalanche on Saturday night.
Binnington has the better stats this season, but he has a much smaller sample size. Binnington has not lost a game in regulation, but I believe that there is a good chance that changes on Monday night. Quick needs to put up a solid performance after getting lit up by the Avalanche on Saturday night if Los Angeles wants a chance.
These two teams have gone 2-2 against each other in their last four games of the season series. Both teams are not doing great as of right now, but I believe the Kings get the home win on Monday night. Los Angeles got blown out on Saturday night and when teams get blown out the game before, they are commonly able to bounce back with a win in their following game. I believe that this is the case for Monday night’s matchup.
BetOnline has St. Louis listed as a -113 against the spread. Los Angeles is at home and I believe that this should make them favored in this matchup. The Kings have fewer key injuries in this game and a goalie coming off a tough performance. Quick has always been good at bouncing back from poor performances and I believe he does it again on Monday night. I am taking Los Angeles as home underdogs.