The LA Kings end their five-game road trip on Saturday in Washington, looking to rebound from Thursday night’s ugly 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
LA Kings (3-3)
Kempe – Kopitar – Fiala
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Kaliyev – Byfield – Vilardi
Lemieux – Lizotte – Grundstrom
Anderson – Doughty
Walker – Roy
Moverare – Clarke
The fourth line of Brendan Lemieux-Blake Lizotte-Carl Grundstrom was LA’s best line on Thursday. I wouldn’t anticipate that line being broken up, and with Alex Iafallo‘s injury, only Jaret Anderson-Dolan is an option to slot in. When you lose by a 6-1 margin, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the coach look to make some changes, keep an eye on the morning skate on Saturday to see if JAD draws in.
I don’t think the Kings can keep playing five right-shot defensemen night in and night out. I suspect if Alex Edler is still unable to go, we will see Jacob Moverare come into the lineup. It would have to be one of the three right-shot defensemen in Sean Durzi, Sean Walker or Brandt Clarke that would sit for Moverare. I don’t think Clarke should come out, so it’d be between Durzi and Walker for me. Again, watch the news from the morning skate.
The safest bet you can make is that Jonathan Quick will get the start on Saturday. It was another rough showing for Calvin Petersen, who was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period in Pittsburgh. Quick wasn’t – and hasn’t been – much better, but he’ll get the start against the Capitals.
Washington Capitals (2-3)
Here’s how the Caps lined up on Thursday:
Capitals lines in warmups in Ottawa … some changes:
Kuemper (vs Forsberg)
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) October 20, 2022
This isn’t a back-to-back situation for the Capitals so I would expect Darcy Kuemper to be in net on Saturday.
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 8 am ET/5 am PT and may have changed since this has been published.
The LA Kings come into Washington as underdogs, +120 at BetMGN while the Caps are -133 favorites, also at BetRivers. The total on this game depends where you shop. If you like the Over, BetRivers is offering 6 (-122). If you have the stomach for the Under, WynnBet has that set at 6.5, -115.
Here’s how the two teams matchup at 5-on-5 per Natural Stat Trick:
|Los Angeles Kings||6||3||3||0||48.7||48.3||47.4||49.5|
It’s early days, but both teams are middling in terms of their possession numbers, though LA does hold the ever-so-slight edge in the stats above.
Given we’re only a handful of games into the season, I tend to tread lightly, but these are some of the stats I will look at when deciding if I’m going to wager on a game. So the Kings as underdogs here I don’t hate. I’m a bit down on the Capitals for the season and nothing they’ve done at the start of the season has swayed me.
I’m admittedly not good at handicapping totals, but the Kings are fourth in the NHL in scoring chances for and have also allowed the third most scoring chances against. They have yet to find their structure in the early going. Five of their six games this season have seen at least seven goals.
The team total for the Kings is only 2.5 (with Caesars offering -169 on the Over). Washington will try to take advantage of LA’s struggling goaltending, their team total is set at 3.5 (+100 at Caesars).
DraftKings Player Props
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Brandt Clarke found the scoresheet for the first time in his young NHL career on Thursday. He is +1000 to find the back of the net in Washington.
The fourth line was buzzing in Pittsburgh, Lemieux, Lizotte and Grundstrom are +600, +600 and +550 respectively to score a goal.
Quinton Byfield is still searching for his first tally, he comes in at +450.
Alex Ovechkin is on a path to catch Wayne Gretzky as the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. The Russian winger is Even money to score on Saturday.
If you like Ovechkin to score, Kuznetsov is likely to be the one feeding him. The center is -105 to record an assist.
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