A TNT doubleheader wraps at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday with the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Los Angeles Kings. The Avs (52-14-6) have clinched a playoff berth and will soon clinch the Central Division title. The Kings (39-26-10) are currently in third place in the Pacific Division with a three point lead on the Vegas Golden Knights.
We’ll provide a look at current odds at DraftKings Sportsbook, along with picks for the game.
Moneyline pick: Avalanche (+255)
This is basically a playoff game for the Kings and given their situation in the Western Conference playoff race they cannot afford to have any games where they don’t get at least a point. Yes it’s true, Los Angeles is on the second leg of a back-to-back while Colorado has been off since Saturday. But the Kings are playing for their hockey lives whereas the Avalanche are stuck trying to balance playing good hockey and keeping guys healthy and sharp for the playoffs. In these situations I believe the team playing desperate hockey has an advantage.
Colorado has all the other advantages. The Avalanche have won both of their previous matchups against the Kings this season. They are on a six-game win streak and 7-0-1 in their past eight games. Mikko Rantanen has 21 points (9 G, 12 A) in the past 15 games. Los Angeles is 4-4-2 in their past ten, but the Kings have been been tough on the road with 21-10-6 record. The Kings have been reeling since top defenseman Drew Doughty was injured on March 7. But with the recent announcement that the former Norris Trophy winner will get wrist surgery and miss the rest of the season there are no more questions about his potential return. The Kings will have to get it done defensively without him.
Goal total: Under 6 (-110)
Colorado is one of the most explosive teams in the league. Even without top six forwards Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog in the lineup, the Avalanche have plenty of guys that can light the lamp. The bigger question is going to be what the Kings decide to do in goal tonight on the second leg of a back-to-back. In most of these situations the No. 2 goalie would get the start, but the Kings’ backup, Cal Petersen has struggled lately. He is 2-3-0 in his last five starts and gave up six against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Starting goalie Jonathan Quick had a pretty light game Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, facing just 20 shots. Could Los Angeles risk playing Quick on consecutive nights hoping he can at least get the game into overtime or will the Kings continue to show confidence in Petersen? These are the types of decisions that can be the difference between the playoffs and the offseason.
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