For the Gamblers! Vancouver vs. LA Pick
Heated, Hated Rivals Meet In Saturday Matinee - Canucks Visit Kings
The Vancouver Canucks continue their road trip on Saturday afternoon with a visit to Los Angeles Kings - the team that stole their Stanley Cup glory last season.
The Canucks are absolutely riddled with injuries at this point of the season but they are coming off a win against the struggling Phoenix Coyotes Thursday while the Kings had a rare poor offensive outing and were blanked 2-0 by the Stars on Thursday
Vancouver Canucks (15-9-1-5) at Los Angeles (17-11-1-1)
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 23, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: NHLN-US, SNET-P, FS-W
Canucks vs. Kings Betting Lines from betonline.com
Vancouver Canucks +1½ -245 +129 Ov 5 -126
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +205 -142 Un 5 +114
The Vancouver Canucks will look to continue their upward trend on Saturday after two straight wins have them tied once again at the top of the Northwest Division with the Minnesota Wild. The team looked good at times against the struggling Coyotes on Thursday in a 2-1 win.
The big story for the Canucks heading into Saturday's game is the injuries. They had five forwards out of the lineup Thursday – Zack Kassian and Chris Higgins were the latest to go down, both with back problems and Steve Pinizzotto was unavailable Thursday as well.
The Canucks dressed 11 forwards and shifted defenseman Keith Ballard up to a wing on a line with Andrew Ebbett and Dale Weise - unbelievable! Daniel Sedin, who scored on one of brother Henrik's two assists in the latest meeting with the Kings, left Thursday's game after a collision with Smith, but he returned and should play Saturday. Hopes are that a couple of the other forwards come back for their latest showdown with their nemesis Kings.
The other story after Thursday night’s win was the play of Cory Schneider who appears to be shaking his average play and is rediscovering the form that made him Vancouver’s #1 heading into the season. Schneider has won consecutive starts for the Canucks, stopping 65 of 68 shots.
He stole Vancouver’s win against the Blues and was solid again against the Coyotes. Schneider turned aside 28 shots in a 5-2 Canucks victory on March 2 that ended the Kings' five-game winning streak.
Yet another story surrounds Alex Edler and his possible suspension for a charging penalty against Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. If he doesn’t skate the Canucks are in serious trouble.
The Los Angeles Kings had won three straight games before a 2-0 loss to the Dallas Stars Thursday. They are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and look like a solid contender in the West. the reason for their good play this season is offense – surprising considering where this team was last year and at the beginning of this season.
The Kings have gone from second-worst in the NHL in goals per game last season (2.29) to eighth-best (2.90) heading into Saturday’s game. Jeff Carter has been great for LA this season and has 18 goals, Anze Kopitar has been an assist machine with 19, Justin Williams has 12 points in his last 10 games and Drew Doughty has woken up and has contributed two points in his last three games. Among the struggling Kings are Dustin Penner who has two points in seven games and Dustin Brown who is pointless in three.
The Kings are giving up 2.47 goals per game – not bad unless you are the defensive minded Kings. Jonathan Quick has been just OK and has a 10-9-2 record this year with a 2.54 GAA and disappointing .897 save % age. He is 1-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA and .958 save % age in his last two starts however.
Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider:
• VAN are 6-2 in their last 8 Sat. games.
• Under is 15-6-5 in VAN last 26 road games.
• Over is 29-14-8 in VAN last 51 Sat. games.
• LA are 25-9 in their last 34 home games.
• Under is 32-12-10 in LA last 54 vs. Northwest.
• Over is 8-3-1 in LA last 12 overall.
The Canucks have had all sorts of issues with the Kings the last couple of seasons and that was when they were able to send out a healthy lineup. Injuries seriously tilt the ice in LA’s favor – no team could overcome the injuries that the Canucks have endured. Vancouver, if healthy, would give the Kings quite a run but as it stands heading into Saturday’s matinee Vancouver just doesn’t have the horses to be able to beat the deep and healthy Kings.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -142