After a slow night in the NHL with only one game on the schedule last night, the NHL is back with plenty of games. We will focus on two of the three games on the late-night slate, which will kick off at 10:00 pm ET or later.
Point Spread (-1.5): Los Angeles Kings (-150) vs Colorado Avalanche (+125)
The visiting Colorado Avalanche are coming off a 3-0 statement win against the Calgary Flames despite losing their captain Gabriel Landeskog indefinitely due to injury. The Avs also bolstered their blue line by acquiring Josh Manson, which should instill confidence in the team heading into the game even if he does not play. The team can still score at will, even without Landeskog, and are 18-10-2 on the road. Nathan MacKinnon is starting to get hot as well with five goals in his last five games and will need to step up in the absence of his captain.
The Kings on the other hand own a winning record on home ice but are missing most of their starters on the blue line. They will be without their top defense pair of Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, as well as Alex Edler, Sean Walker, and potentially Matt Roy. They will also be without some key forwards in Dustin Brown and Viktor Arvidsson.
Although the Kings goaltenders have played well for the last few weeks, the injuries to a plethora of players will be too much for the Kings to overcome against a tough Avalanche team. All signs point to the Avs winning this one and being able to do it in unquestionable fashion by two goals or more.
Moneyline: Vancouver Canucks (-160) vs New Jersey Devils (+135)
The New Jersey Devils are playing pretty good hockey of late pulling off big wins against the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche earlier this month. They are also fresh off a 2-1 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks. Goaltender Nico Daws can be credited greatly for their success since he claimed the crease. He owns a 6-4-0 record with a 2.50 goals-against average and .916 save percentage this season.
Thatcher Demko’s stats for the Canucks are virtually identical with a 26-16-3 record, 2.67 GAA and .916 SV% just with a bigger sample size. The Canucks own a 13-11-4 record on home ice, which isn’t overwhelmingly good, and are also very reliant on red hot J.T. Miller who has 24 points during his current 12-game point streak.
The Devils are sneaky fast and can usually catch teams off guard with how skilled they are. With the goaltenders being a wash if Demko and Daws get the starts, expect the more balanced scoring attack of the Devils to find a way to claw out a victory on the road.
Odds via BetMGM and Yahoo