New Jersey Devils (15-21-8) at Los Angeles Kings (20-13-10)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 14, 2015, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -225 / New Jersey Devils +190 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The New Jersey Devils head to Los Angeles to take on the Kings on Wednesday night at the Staples Center. After reeling off two consecutive wins it looked like the Devils might be finding their game a little bit. Instead there was a horrible performance in Boston against the Bruins that resulted in a 3-0 shutout and another blown third period lead against the Islanders at home on Friday night. Scott Gomez gave the Devils a 2-1 lead after Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak misplayed a puck behind the net, leaving it wide open for Gomez to score. With the way Keith Kinkaid had been playing goal for New Jersey it seemed that might be enough, but a late penalty on Dainius Zubrus gave the Islanders sustained zone time before John Tavares was able to bank one in off Kinkaid just after the power play had expired. In overtime it was another mistake in their own end that proved costly for the Devils when defenseman Adam Larsson had his pocket picked in the corner by Tavares who swooped out in front and buried the game winner. Travis Zajac opened the scoring in the second period with his seventh goal of the season. Kinkaid was the hard luck loser who saw his record drop to 1-2-3 on the season despite an impressive .924 save percentage and 2.16 goals against average. Now the Devils will look to get things going on the road but with the way they’ve played this season it’s hard to imagine this being a very successful West Coast trip. After their game in Los Angeles on Wednesday night the Devils travel to Anaheim and San Jose before returning for a five game home stand.
Things haven’t been as dire for the Kings but with how competitive things are in the Western Conference their play still might not be good enough unless they get their act together. Los Angeles is currently in second place in the Pacific Division standings but the way they’ve been playing isn’t instilling a lot of confidence in people around the organization. This is a club that knows how to get hot at the right time and turn that into a long playoff run, and it looks like the Kings are going to need to figure out how to do that yet again. Los Angeles is 15-5-4 on home ice but they’re just 5-8-6 on the road and have plenty of games away from Staples Center coming up in the near future. After three straight losses the Kings got back in the win column on Monday night when they hosted the Toronto Maples Leafs. Anze Kopitar’s 10th goal of the season came just 37 seconds into the game and it would be all the offense that the Kings would need on this night. Marian Gaborik finished the scoring with an empty net goal in the third period in a game that didn’t see many chances generated by either club. Martin Jones made the start for Jonathan Quick and stopped all 19 shots he faced to record the shut out.
Los Angeles has been extremely inconsistent this season but they’ve been much better at home than on the road. New Jersey has just been bad for much of the season and it's going to be tough for them to find a way in this one.