Los Angeles Kings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 2/6/14
Columbus Blue Jackets (29-23-4) at Los Angeles Kings (30-22-6)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -168 / Columbus Blue Jackets +153 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NHLN-CA; FS-O, FS-W
In the final game on the Thursday night NHL card, the Los Angeles Kings will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a matchup of two teams that are trending in directly opposite directions.
The Blue Jackets enter the Staples Center with three consecutive wins, the most recent of which coming at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks, a team that is widely considered be the best home team in the NHL. In that game, the Jackets found themselves taking a 2-0 lead into the third period. The Ducks would make a push, but it was not enough as Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in the 4-2 victory. The win improves the Blue Jackets record to 7-3-0 in the last ten games.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport
And then there is the Los Angeles Kings, who have just one win in the last ten contests. The Kings have dropped four straight and the most recent three have come at Staples, albeit against tough competition. On Monday, the Kings scored three goals in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The three goals marked the first time in six games that the Kings scored more than one goal. Los Angeles’ inability to score has proven to be problematic, but luckily for the Kings the goaltending has been first class.
These two teams met once earlier in the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets winning at home by a score of 5-3. The home team is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams. The Kings are 0-6 in the last six against the Eastern Conference. The Jackets are 4-0 in the last four versus the Pacific Division.
I prefer a play on the total in this game, however. The under in the Kings last ten games is 8-1-1. In the series, the under is 3-0-1 in the last four contests. Bobrovsky has been red hot of late, with wins in three consecutive starts and stopping 89 of the last 94 shots faced. The Kings defensive strength and goaltending talent is well documented, but the team ranks first in the NHL in goals against. The Jackets rank 20th in goals scored per game, which equates to a low total for Columbus. With the Kings struggling terribly on offense, I think the under is the play here.