The late-game slate features a premier matchup with two of the league’s powerhouses, and an often entertaining California matchup. Three of these four teams have playoffs in sight meaning points are precious, making these high stake clashes.
Los Angeles Kings (-225) vs San Jose Sharks (+180)
The Los Angeles Kings are second in the Pacific Division trying to hunt down the division-leading Flames and fend off the Vegas Golden Knights, who are hot on their tail. The Kings are playing very good hockey of late, getting strong goaltending from both netminders. They enter this one putting their three-game win streak on the line on home ice after a strong team effort win against the Boston Bruins in overtime.
It won’t matter which goaltender the Kings start in the crease because both Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick are proving to be reliable options after struggling for the first half of the season. The Kings have a winning record both on home ice and within the division this season, while the Sharks have an 11-12-4 record on the road and a 4-6-3 record against the Pacific Division.
The biggest storyline and main reason to back the Kings is because of the injuries to both of San Jose’s starting netminders. Both Adin Hill and James Reimer are out due to injury, leaving 24-year-old, Zach Sawchenko to man the crease for the Sharks. He only has five games of NHL experience under his belt with only one NHL start and a 3.18 goals-against average. The Kings offense isn’t necessarily potent but will have more than enough chances to capitalize and get the win.
Calgary Flames (+100) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (-120)
Tampa Bay got the best of the Flames in the only other meeting between the two earlier this season, but the Flames have turned up the heat since their last meeting on Jan. 6. This will be Tampa’s third road game on their seven-game road trip out west and have been through two high-scoring affairs in their previous two games.
This will be a heavyweight and tough game for both teams, who will likely both put forth their best effort because of the battle they are in for positioning in the standings. Both teams are coming off losses in their previous game making them all the more desperate to get the win.
Jacob Markstrom got the last game off and should be fresh and ready to go in a big game, while Andrei Vasilevskiy is coming off a loss to the Winnipeg Jets where he gave up five goals. The Flames are proving they can beat teams in many different ways and have spread their lines out to create depth throughout their lineup. Calgary’s top line has carried the team offensively with 18 points in their last four games, which should pose problems for the Lightning.
Despite the Lightning being favored to win this one, the Flames have home-ice advantage and in a game with so little separating the two teams the edge goes to the home team. The betting value for a top team in the league like the Flames, who should feed off a rowdy group of fans in the Scotiabank Saddledome, is just too good to pass up here.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM