The LA Kings picked up their first win of the 2022-23 season in a high-scoring affair in Minnesota on Saturday. They are in Detroit to take on the upstart Red Wings on Monday.
After their 7-6 win over the Wild, the Kings now sit at 1-2 after three games. The Red Wings (2-0) on the other hand, are off to a strong start, winning both of their games on the road in Montreal and New Jersey.
Kempe – Kopitar – Fiala
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Iafallo – Byfield – Vilardi
Lemieux – Lizotte – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Clarke
Barring some injury or illness-related news to come out of Monday’s skate, I wouldn’t anticipate a change to the forward group. Perhaps we could see Carl Grundstrom draw back in for Brendan Lemieux, but other than that, I’d expect the status quo.
This is probably the best defensive group the Kings can trot out right now. Sean Walker was the odd man out on Saturday and should be again. The Sean Durzi and Matt Roy pair was better on Saturday (51.9% CF% at 5-on-5 per MoneyPuck.com) and Brandt Clarke just continues to impress.
Cal Petersen may have been the first goaltender to record a win, but he didn’t look great doing it. He allowed six goals on 35 shots (.829 save percentage) and had a -2.77 Goals Saved Above Expected (via MoneyPuck). The Kings play both Monday and Tuesday so it’s fair to assume he’ll get one of these starts, but I don’t think he gave the coaching staff much confidence on Saturday.
Detroit Red Wings
Bertuzzi* – Larkin – Raymond
Vrana – Copp – Perron
Soderblom – Rasmussen – Sundqvist
Kubalik – Suter – Erne
*Bertuzzi is day-to-day
Chiarot – Seider
Maatta – Hronek
Hagg – Lindstrom
Tyler Bertuzzi took a puck off the hand during Saturday’s 5-2 win in New Jersey and did not return. We are still waiting for an official update and should learn more in today’s morning skate. Dylan Larkin is off to a strong start with four points in two games and the 6-foot-6 Elmer Soderblom scored his first career goal in the season opener. On Saturday, the Red Wings used Dominik Kubalik and Jakub Vrana in Bertuzzi’s absence. We’ll see who gets the full-time look with Larkin should Bertuzzi be unavailable.
Ville Husso was one of the more sought-after netminders in the offseason and he impressed in his debut with the Wings stopping all 29 shots he faced on Friday in Montreal. I would expect the former St. Louis Blue to get the nod on Monday.
Let’s take a look at the odds, courtesy of our partner Betstamp (promo code: hockeyroyalty).
*Note: the odds below are for sports books offered in New York. Refer to available sports books specific to your state.
**Odds as of 9:45 am ET/6:45 am PT and may have changed since this has been published.
For the third time this season, the Kings are favorites, albeit slight. BetRivers offers the best odds at -122 (54.9% implied probability).
The Kings simply have not been very good so far. While these numbers don’t start to become somewhat stable until around 20 games or so, their 43.3% CF% and 41.1% xGF% at 5-on-5 rank fifth-worst and fourth-worst respectively. To make matters worse, the Kings have allowed at least five power plays in each of their first three games. Poor possession numbers, iffy goaltending, and a team parading to the box – back the Kings as road favorites at your own risk.
The 2-0 Red Wings enter the game as home underdogs, with WynnBet offering +110 (47.6% implied probability). Their 46.2% CF% (21st) and 48.7% xGF% (17th) at 5-on-5 are more middle of the pack, but they are ninth in the league at High Danger Chances For (54.1%) in the early going.
The total in the game is set at six. BetMGM (-120) and PointsBet (+105) offer the best odds on the Over and Under respectively.
It is the Red Wings’ home opener so figure there’ll be a little extra adrenaline for the hosts. The LA Kings have allowed the third-most scoring chances and third-most high-danger chances this season. Detroit’s team total of 2.5 is -169 at Caesars to go Over.
DraftKings Player Props
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The best line for the Kings this season in terms of CF% (47.7%) and xGF% (62.5%) is the third line of Alex Iafallo, Quinton Byfield, and Gabriel Vilardi. Iafallo and Vilardi each have a pair of goals this season, but Byfield has yet to find the back of the net. While he does have a pair of assists, he’s played well early on and this could be a good opportunity for him to pot his first goal (+400 at DK).
On a related note, we saw Vilardi back with the top power play unit on Saturday, he is +650 to record a power play point.
For Detroit, keep an eye on who may fill in for Bertuzzi on that top line if he can’t go. As noted above, Kubalik and Vrana got the opportunity on Saturday, they are +340 and +175 respectively to score a goal.
Puck drop is 4 pm PT.
Good luck and enjoy the game!
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(Main photo credit: NHL.com)