Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers - 1/8/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Rangers (21-11-4) at Los Angeles Kings (19-12-9)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -150 / New York Rangers +136 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Rangers play their second game in as many nights as they travel from Anaheim to Los Angeles to face off against the defending champions in a Stanley Cup rematch.
USA TODAY Sports
The Rangers are locked into a draw with the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center at the moment in the first period but regardless of the outcome they will face a tough test for the second straight night as they head to the Staples Center to take on the Kings. New York was ousted in five games in last year's Stanley Cup finals and they will have retribution on their minds in this one as they turn to backup Cam Talbot and give Henrik Lundqvist the night off. The Blue Shirts started off a bit slow this season but have really turned things up and are making some noise in the Metro division that had gone from a two horse race with the Penguins and Islanders that now includes the Washington Capitals and the Rangers. New York is 9-1 in their last 10 games excluding last night's game against the Ducks and they'll look to close the divisional gap with a huge victory here against the Kings.
Los Angeles meanwhile is right back in the mix in the Pacific division currently sitting in fourth place but are just two points out of second and have a great chance of getting back to the playoffs to defend their title. The Kings have been a bit soft defensively this season though as the usually stingy group is outside the top 10 in goals allowed and only has a plus nine goal differential which is among the worst for team's currently in a playoff position. There is no question that the Kings have the talent to make a another run at the Cup but repeating as champs is so incredibly difficult and with the nature of the Western Conference I wouldn't be surprised to see them bow out early this season and give way for another solid team to have their day. This is a tough game to call as I think the line would be a lot closer if Lundqvist was starting but I like Talbot as well and this is a scrappy Rangers bunch that knows how to play the Kings and I think they get the win here.