Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
We have two teams that are at different points in their life cycles. Los Angeles has a young up-and-coming group that could be very competitive in the Pacific Division within the next year or two. Meanwhile, Tampa is your reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champ and once again they’re strutting their stuff just 29 games in. This game has Bolts written all over it, but LA has a group that can surprise and upset.
As much as we’d love to see the Kings of LA bounce the reigning kings of the league, it’s just not going to happen on Tuesday night.
Tampa to win 4-1 (-230)
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Over the past ten games, the Kings have lost six times with two of those L’s coming in OT. They’ve managed to stay competitive though, winning their last two and taking out one of the league’s best teams – the Edmonton Oilers – on December 5th by a score of 5-1. They’ve had some big upsets and have shown that they can stick with the big boys. This one will be a great test for this LA bunch on Tuesday as opponents don’t get any bigger than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
As mentioned, these Kings have been a pesky bunch all year long. They just haven’t found a way to be consistent. Case and point, they shut out the 13-10-2 Dallas Stars just a few nights ago, but were blanked by the lowly 11-15-2 Vancouver Canucks just three nights prior. If LA can find a way to keep pace with their opponent right from the opening puck drop they’ll have a chance to keep this one close. Against a team like Tampa, “close” is really all you have to hope for too.
If LA can keep shots coming from the point and can rely on some defensive production from the likes of Drew Doughty and Alex Edler – who are currently fourth and fifth in team scoring – Tampa won’t know what hit them. This game will be all about second chances for the Kings. Rebounds and garbage goals are going to be the game story for them. Without providing those secondary opportunities from the point early and often, they’re really going to make life hard on themselves.
All year long the Bolts have relied on their star netminder Andrei Vasilevsky. He’s one of the best in the game and again this year has posted some very strong numbers. He’s currently tied for second in wins, sixth in save percentage and eighth in goals against. He’s also tied for third in shutouts too with three to his name already.
If Tampa can provide Big Cat (his more commonly used nickname) some added help, it’ll go a long way. Currently, the Bolts have one of the best goal differentials in the league at +15, but they need to keep helping clear their back end as often as possible. Reason being is burnout. We’re nearly 30 games in and if your goalie is facing too much rubber night and night out it’ll undoubtedly catch up with him.
The good news for the high-flying Lightning is they have a pretty light schedule over the next two weeks and change with just six games over the next 16 days. In other words, watch for them to try and blow up the Kings and the statsheet.
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|Los Angeles Kings vs Tampa Bay Lightning Information|
|What||Los Angeles Kings vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Where||Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL|
|When||December 14 2021 at 7:00pm EST|
|How to watch||Bally Sports|
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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