Toronto Maple Leafs (35-24-8) at Los Angeles Kings (38-22-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 13, 2014, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -200 / Toronto Maple Leafs +181 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Maple Leafs look to complete their California road trip with a victory as they head to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Kings.
The Leafs will look to take two of three contests on their very treacherous California road trip as they started things off very nicely with a 3-1 win over the Ducks but were pummeled the next night by a 6-2 final against a very tough San Jose Sharks team. The Leafs head into LA looking to distance themselves in the Eastern Conference as they currently hold down the third seed but the Canadiens and Lightning are still in contention in what is surely going to be a very tight race to the finish. Jonathan Bernier makes his return to Los Angeles for the first time since he was traded to the blue and white in the offseason and the former backup to Jonathan Quick would love to stick it to his former team by putting on another goaltending clinic, something he has done time and time again for the Leafs this season.
The Kings are the hottest team in the league right now having won eight straight contests heading into Thursday night’s encounter with the Buds and the oddsmakers expect the Kings to make it nine as they’re heavy favourites heading into the contest. Despite the Kings’ eight game triumph they are still eight points back of the Blackhawks for fifth in the Western Conference standings which goes to show how ridiculously competitive things have been this season and with just under 20 games remaining in the regular season it’ll be tough to see the Kings catch up. Los Angeles has been strong at home while the Leafs have been a .500 team on the road but much like the game in Anaheim that meant so much to Randy Carlyle I think we see an inspired effort from Bernier and his Leaf teammates in what is to me the game of the night in the NHL. I think Toronto has a great shot at snapping LA’s winning streak and with this price I think it is well worth the risk.