Arizona Coyotes (16-18-2) at Los Angeles Kings (14-20-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 27, 2018, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -143 / Arizona Coyotes -105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Arizona Coyotes look to continue their recent success in Los Angeles as they head into the Staples Center to play the Kings on Thursday night.
The Coyotes are hoping some holiday rest will be the spark they need to jump into the Western Conference playoff picture as they take on another struggling foe in the Kings who have won 4 in a row against the West but have had a tough season overall. Arizona was dealt a huge blow when it was learned that goaltender Antii Raanta is expected to miss the rest of the season with an injury and while Adin Hill has come out of nowhere to steal some games for the Coyotes he is not the answer in the crease and they may not get it until their starter returns next season. Arizona does have some nice pieces but a trip to the playoffs this season seems like a pipedream and they could be in for a very tough second half of the season if they can’t find someone internally to step up their play.
The Kings meanwhile started the season as one of the worst teams in the league and until their recent surge were considered an afterthought for the playoffs and a front runner for a top draft pick. However, their play over the last couple of weeks has them back in the mix as they are just 8 points back of the Edmonton Oilers for the final playoff spot in the Conference and if they can solve their offensive woes they could very well jump back into the playoff picture in the coming weeks. The Kings have the league’s worst offensive numbers and have scored just 86 goals in 37 games and that is not the recipe for winning a championship in the new NHL as so many successful teams have game breakers in the offensive zone.
The Coyotes are 6-1 in their last 7 games against the Western Conference and are 3-7 in their last 10 games overall while the Kings are just 6-17 in their last 23 games following a win and 2-6 in their last 8 meetings at home against the Coyotes. Neither of these teams have been playing particularly well this season so in what looks like a coin flip game the road team is worthy of a look as they have dominated this series and should have a great chance at winning this one.