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The Calgary Flames are 3-1-1 in their last five games.
The Winnipeg Jets have lost five of their last six games.
The Jets beat the Kings 6-4 in their first meeting.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Kings
33-20-8 (2nd in Pacific Division)
34-24-1 (4th in Central Division)
Kevin Fiala (63)
Kyle Connor (66)
Adrian Kempe (28)
Mark Scheifele (34)
Kevin Fiala (42)
Josh Morrissey (48)
Adrian Kempe ()
Cole Perfetti (10)
Kevin Fiala (3.08)
Shots (Per Game)
Kyle Connor (3.47)
The Los Angeles Kings will travel north of the border to face the Winnipeg Jets for the second time this season. In late October, these teams faced each other, and the Jets won 6-4. The game was tied at four with 15 minutes left in the third period, but the Jets went on to score two goals (one an empty-netter).
The Kings are in second place in the Pacific Division with 74 points. Even though they are in a Playoff spot, a win would greatly benefit them. Los Angeles would be within striking distance of the first-place Golden Knights with a victory but could fall into third place with a loss. On the other side, the Jets are in the first Wild Card spot with 71 points. A win could move them into third place in the Central Division, but a loss could move them into the second Wild Card spot.
The Kings have surprised me this season. I expected them to be fighting for a Playoff spot for most of the season, but they have instead been in the Playoff picture for the majority of the year. Their defense still provides some significant problems, but they have a strong roster. Offensively, they have a handful of weapons and a pretty high-powered offense, but on the defensive end, they lack quality players outside of Mikey Anderson. In addition, they have an interesting goaltending situation. Veteran Jonathan Quick began the year as the starter but has been relegated since Phoenix Copley was called up. Copley’s numbers are not all too impressive, but the Kings win when he is in the net.
The Kings are led by Kevin Fiala, Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault, and Viktor Arvidsson. Fiala leads this group with 63 shots, but the rest of these players are productive and have at least 40 shots.
Phoenix Copley will likely get the start today in the net today. Copley only has a .901 save percentage but also has a 17-4-1 record.
The Jets have also surprised me this season. They missed the Playoffs last year but had a strong start to their year and have exceeded expectations. With that being said, their offense is slow and needs to score more. Winnipeg averages just above three goals a game but has only scored twice in their last three games. If their offense steps up, the Jets can make a Playoff run.
The Jets have three 20+ goal scorers in Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor, and Mark Scheifele. These three account for over 46% of the Jets' goals and must continue frequently scoring in the final 20 games.
Connor Hellebuyck and David Rittich make up the Jets’ goaltending duo. Hellebuyck is the starter, but Rittich can also hold his own. Both netminders allow less than 2.5 goals per game.
Both teams have been struggling lately, but I would bet on Jets. The Jets are much better at home, which will be the difference.
The Kings are the underdogs but can win if they overwhelm the Jets with shots and draw penalties.
The Kings shoot 32.1 times per game, but the Jets only give up 2.65 goals per game. They have a solid defense and an excellent goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck. Even so, they can put up three or four goals on the Jets if they increase their shot output. Los Angeles must shoot 35+ times this game to give themselves a chance.
The Kings have the third-best power-play unit in the NHL and convert over 25% of their opportunities. This unit has to get on the ice at least four times this game. If they do, they will score at least one goal.
The Jets are the favorites but will only win if they score first and slow down Kevin Fiala.
The Jets were shut out by the New York Islanders in their previous game. Their offense has been quite slow lately, but if they come out aggressively, and put a lot of shots on the net in the first ten minutes, they will score first. If they strike first, their chances of winning will increase dramatically.
Kevin Fiala is the most productive player on the Kings. Fiala is a talented passer and scorer, so the Jets’ defensemen must make him priority #1.
Adrian Kempe leads the Kings with 28 goals. He is an efficient shooter and converts over 15% of his shots. However, he has not scored in his previous five games. Kempe needs to return to form this matchup and put one in the back of the net.
Mark Scheifele is on a tear this season. He leads the Jets with 34 goals and scores on over 21% of his shots. Scheifele needs to shoot as much as possible and provide his struggling team with some offense.
What - Los Angeles Kings vs Winnipeg Jets
Where - Canada Life Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
When- Tuesday, February 28, 8:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
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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