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The Los Angeles Kings have won four of their last seven games.
The Carolina Hurricanes are on a five-game winning streak.
The Hurricanes beat the Kings 4-2 in their first meeting.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Kings
28-18-6 (2nd in Pacific Division)
32-9-8 (1st in Metropolitan Division)
Kevin Fiala (52)
Martin Necas (45)
Adrian Kempe (20)
Martin Necas (21)
Kevin Fiala (35)
Brent Burns (26)
Mikey Anderson (9)
Brady Skjei (18)
Kevin Fiala (3.1)
Shots (Per Game)
Andrei Svechnikov (3.35)
The Los Angeles Kings will travel across the country and face the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time this season. Carolina handled the Kings easily in their first matchup and won 4-2.
The Kings are sitting in third place in the Pacific Division with 62 points. However, they can move to first place with a win tonight. The Hurricanes are taking care of business in the Eastern Conference and are in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 72 points. A win would increase their lead over the second-place New Jersey Devils.
The Kings are in a Playoff spot but have some big issues. Their offense is consistent, but their defense is questionable, and their goaltending could be a lot better. The Kings give up a troubling 3.4 goals per game and need to lower that number if they want to make a Playoff run.
The Kings are led by Kevin Fiala, Anze Kopitar, and Adrian Kempe. Other plays excel in their roles for Los Angeles, but these three lead the way. Fiala has a team-leading 52 points, Kopitar plays over 20 minutes a game and has 15 goals, and Kempe leads the Kings with 20 goals.
Jonathan Quick and Phoenix Copley platoon for the Kings in the net. Neither of these netminders play particularly well. Copley has been a welcome addition (and is outperforming Quick), but he could still use some improvement.
The Hurricanes are a lot more well-rounded than the Kings. Their offense is reliable, but they make a living on defense. Carolina has a top-ten defense and only allows 2.61 goals per game. The Hurricanes are in a great spot but may need to ramp up their scoring before the Playoffs.
The Hurricanes are led by Martin Necas, Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Brent Burns. These players bring different skills to the table, but they all contribute in big ways to this Hurricanes squad.
Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen have resumed goaltending duties after Andersen returned from injury. Their numbers look good on paper but are not elite. They have combined for 22 wins and only five regulation losses, but both have save percentages below .901. With that being said, one of them will likely excel in the Playoffs.
The Hurricanes are on a five-game winning streak and have a better team than the Kings. They will win this road game. Bet on Carolina.
The Kings are the underdogs but will win if they score first and draw penalties.
The Kings are on the road and playing at a disadvantage. However, they can make it less of a disadvantage if they score first. Not only is the team that scores first more likely to win, but the momentum also pushes in their favor.
The Kings have a solid power play unit that converts over 23% of their opportunities. A little over 25% of their goals come with a man advantage, so Los Angeles must draw penalties. If they draw four penalties this game, they will likely score one goal.
The Hurricanes are the favorites and will push their winning streak to six if they have solid goaltending and overwhelm the Kings with shots.
The Hurricanes are facing a Kings squad that shoots 32.5 times a game. Any time a team shoots that much they are likely to put in a few goals. However, Carolina can combat that with strong goaltending.
The Hurricanes average an absurd 35.1 shots per game. However, they do not average an absurd amount of goals, even though they take that many shots. Carolina averages 3.27 goals per game (a little above the league average). They will likely need four goals to win this game, which can only come if they take 40 shots against the Kings.
Drew Doughty is a veteran defenseman and has been on the Kings since 2008. He may be 33 years old and in the back half of his career, but he still leads the Kings in TOI at 26:10. Doughty is a reliable defenseman but also a solid passer. He has 28 assists in 51 games.
Doughty must bring his A-game to this matchup. Defensively, he needs to slow down the likes of Martin Necas, Sebastian Aho, and Andrei Svechnikov, and offensively, he must continue passing and setting up his teammates.
Andrei Svechnikov has been excelling on the Hurricanes’ second line. The 22-year-old plays a little over 18 minutes a game and has 19 goals and 20 assists. However, Svechikov has not scored a goal in the month of January. This must change tonight. Svechnikov needs to put a puck in the back of the net and end the month on a high note.
What - Los Angeles Kings vs Carolina Hurricanes
Where - PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
When - Tuesday, January 31, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHL Network
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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