Losers of three straight, the LA Kings play their first post-Thanksgiving game in San Jose against the Sharks on Friday.
LA Kings (11-9-2)
Here’s how the Kings lined up in their loss to the Rangers on Tuesday:
Tonight's @LAKings Line Rushes –
Fiala – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Vilardi – Lizotte – Grundstrom
Anderson-Dolan – Kupari – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Edler – Roy
Moverare – Walker
— Zach Dooley (@DooleyLAK) November 23, 2022
For Friday, I think we could see a couple of changes. First, Sean Durzi skated during practice on Thursday alongside Matt Roy; that pair could be reunited. If that happens, I suspect Alex Edler would slot in next to Sean Walker, leaving Jacob Moverare as the odd man out.
In goal, I’d say Jonathan Quick is a safe bet to get the start.
San Jose Sharks (7-12-3)
Here is how the Sharks skated in Wednesday’s 8-5 loss in Seattle:
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 24, 2022
It’ll be the first meeting of the season between the California rivals. Timo Meier, who has 12 goals in 26 career games against the Kings, is coming off a hat trick on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Erik Karlsson is having an incredible season, as he’s up to 30 points already on the season.
Here’s how the two teams match up at 5-on-5 per Natural Stat Trick
|Los Angeles Kings||52.7||55.1||53.9||53.8||8.1||.903||0.984|
|San Jose Sharks||48.6||50.5||50.4||54.3||9.2||.892||0.983|
Not too surprisingly, the LA Kings have been the better possession team at 5-on-5 this season. Though, I think San Jose being much closer to an average team in that department is, in fact, a surprise. At least to me.
San Jose’s power play is middle of the pack in the NHL right now at 21.1%. Karlsson and Logan Couture are tied for the team lead in points with the man advantage (7), while Meier’s five goals lead in that department.
Their penalty kill has been the best in the NHL, killing off 91.4% of opponents’ power plays. Though the San Jose 5-on-5 save percentage is second lowest in the league, their save percentage while on the penalty kill is the best at .941 (per Natural Stat Trick).
Gabriel Vilardi’s first-period power play goal against the Rangers brought the LA power play to 19.8%, good for 22nd in the league. Unlike San Jose, the Kings are not getting saves while on the penalty kill. Quick and Cal Petersen have a combined .812 save percentage on the penalty kill, the fourth-lowest in the league (per Natural Stat Trick).
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 am ET/6 am PT may have changed since this was published.
The Kings are the better team and should be favored; indeed, they are. BetRivers has the best price on LA at -143, while FanDuel’s +130 is the best number on the Sharks.
The over is either 6 or 6.5, depending on where you shop. If you like the over, take the Over-6 at BetRivers (-111), and if you prefer the Under, BetMGM’s -120 on the Under-6.5 is your best bet there.
Personally, I’m not touching the Kings here. I agree they should be favored, but I cannot trust their inconsistent play and poor goaltending to lay -143 on the road.
DraftKings Player Props
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Kevin Fiala’s move back to the top line paid instant dividends. The trio combined for five points at Even Strength. They should be able to spend plenty of time in the San Jose zone, and I like Adrian Kempe Over 2.5 shots on goal (-160).
Looking further down the lineup, Blake Lizotte has quietly put together a nice season; he is +550 to score in San Jose. Also, Arthur Kaliyev has gone without a goal in four straight games; I like his chances to score on Friday at +340.
A couple of Sharks with good numbers against the Kings historically are Timo Meier (18 points in 26 games) and Logan Couture (38 points in 54 games). They are -230 and -170, respectively, to register a point on Friday.
Erik Karlsson’s 19 assists are the fourth-highest in the league and tops among all defensemen in the NHL. He is -130 to pick up another apple against LA.
Perhaps somewhat lost in the Karlsson hot start, and Meier’s continued consistent scoring is the strong start for Tomas Hertl. He has 20 points in 22 games and is -190 to pick up another point on Friday.
Good luck, and enjoy the game!
Follow me on Betstamp @JWPatarino!
(Main Photo Credit: Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)