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Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings - 1/23/14

Los Angeles Kings (29-16-6) at Anaheim Ducks (37-10-5)

NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Honda Center)

The Line: Anaheim Ducks -142 / Los Angeles Kings +129 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NHL-N US, FS-W, PRIME

Thursday night will mark the first game of a home-and-home series between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, with the first game coming at the Honda Center and the second at Chavez Ravine on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Kings enter Thursday’s game on a three game losing streak and a record of 4-4-2 in the last ten games. Los Angeles closes a forgettable five game road trip in Anaheim that has seen the Kings go 1-2-1 heading into the Honda Center. With a 13-10-3 record to this point, the Kings have not been particularly great on the road this season, but lately matters have gotten worse with the Kings going 1-8 in the last nine road contests.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings - 1/23/14

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks have made news all season long with big winning streaks, franchise best home record, and impressive scoring outbursts. Fact of the matter is that the Ducks lead the NHL in points and continue to pull away. The Ducks are 8-2 in the last ten games, but have suddenly lost two of three games. One of the losses was to the cup holding Chicago Blackhawks and the other loss came on Tuesday to the Winnipeg Jets. It was one of those nights for the Ducks, who doubled the Jets in shots 42-21, but came up short in the 3-2 defeat. Ducks starting goaltender Jonas Hiller was pulled in the second period against the Jets, and following the game he publicly spoke about a lack of focus.

These two teams met at Staples Center earlier this season, which resulted in a Kings victory by the score of 3-2, a game that is consistent with the trend in the series of home ice advantage. The home team is 4-1 in the last five games. The Kings are 5-0 in the last five versus the Pacific Division, but the Ducks have performed well too, going 13-3 in the last 16 versus the Pacific Division. The Kings are just 4-10 in the last 14 games overall. The Ducks are 7-0 in the last seven games after scoring two or less goals in the previous game.

I think Jonas Hiller makes a concerted effort to prove his worth to his Ducks teammates, so I think we see a relatively low scoring game as the Kings expect Brian Quick in goal and allow a league best 2.0 goals against per game. After dropping the first home game in regulation, I think the Ducks will get back on track and avenge the earlier loss this season to the Kings. 

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Anaheim Ducks -142

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