Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild - 1/7/14
Minnesota Wild (22-17-5) at Los Angeles Kings (26-13-4)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -178 / Minnesota Wild +162 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FS-N, FS-W
The Minnesota Wild will travel to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night in NHL action.
The Minnesota Wild started off the season strong, looking like a threat to advance in the Western Conference playoffs. Things have changed. The Wild have gone 4-6-0 in the last ten games and were dealt a huge blow losing captain Mikko Koivu for a month due to a broken ankle. Koivu leads the team in points with 35 and acts as the resident facilitator with 27 assists, also a team high. This offensive blow could preclude the Wild from a postseason birth considering the team just lost its second leading scorer in Zach Parise. The Wild already rank 27th in the NHL in goals per game with 2.3, which is sure to drop without two of the team’s key offensive contributors.
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
While the Wild lost arguably its most important player, Jonathan Quick, who one of the most important players for the Los Angeles Kings, just returned from injury. Quick, who was named to the U.S.A. Olympic squad, returned to make 27 saves in a victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The return of the starting goaltender could not have come at a better time for the Kings, after the club went on a winless four game road trip. During the road trip, the Los Angeles offense was only able to light the lamp four times, and the team has only scored more than three goals in a game one time in the last ten contests.
The home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams. Minnesota will be looking to avenge a home loss to Los Angeles from the first meeting this season, which took place back in early October. Minnesota takes pride in protecting its home ice, but have just six road victories this year. The money line on the home team offers no value in this game, and with the Kings’ offense leaving a little to be desired it could take an empty netter to cash a puck line ticket. Thus, I will look to the total, which is 23-11-5 in the last 39 meetings between these two teams. I think there are better plays available on a large NHL Tuesday, but I lean to the under in this game.