Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Kings were defeated by the San Jose Sharks in the first meeting of the two, in their current two-game series on Monday 2-1. Los Angeles is 13-12-6 with 32 points and sits in 5th place in the West division and 13 points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights. The Kings have alternated between wins and losses in each of the last five games including splitting a two-game series with first-place Vegas prior to facing the Sharks.

San Jose’s victory over Los Angeles on Monday snapped a four-game losing streak for the Sharks. Prior to defeating Los Angeles, San Jose had lost two straight to the St. Louis Blues and two straight to Vegas. The Sharks are 12-14-4 with 28 points. San Jose is in 7th place in the West division and trails first-place Vegas by 17 points. The Sharks are only four points better than last place Anaheim. The Sharks continue to give up too many goals as San Jose is allowing an average of 3.40 goals per game.

Blue Line and Goaltending Keeps Games Close for LA

The Los Angeles Kings’ blue line and goaltenders have kept games close for the Kings but the offense has not always responded in kind. Los Angeles allows an average of 2.74 goals per game and the Kings are solid when short-handed as the penalty kill unit has been successful 85.4% of the time. Calvin Peterson is 6-6-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, while veteran Jonathan Quick is 6-6-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .898 save percentage with two shutouts.

Los Angeles is scoring an average of 2.84 goals per game led by Dustin Brown who has scored 14 goals, while Adrian Kempe has scored 11, but no other player for the Kings has scored in double-figures in goals. Anze Kopitar is far and away from the leader in assists for Los Angeles with 29 which is 11 more than the next closest player, Drew Doughty with 18. Kopitar is the overall points leader for Los Angeles with 37 and Doughty has 25. Los Angeles has scored 27 power-play goals in the power-play unit scores 24.8% of the time with the man advantage.

Injury Report: Olli Maatta is questionable for Wednesday, while Martin Frk is out indefinitely

San Jose needs to fix its blue line and goaltending

The San Jose Sharks are 7th in the West division and with a reason as they are allowing an average of 3.40 goals per game and the penalty-kill unit is holding opponents scoreless only 79.0% of the time. Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk have shared duties between the pipes for San Jose this season. Jones is 9-6-2 with a 3.30 goals-against-average and .897 save percentage, while Dubnyk is 3-8-2 with a 3.19 goals-against average and .899 save percentage with one shutout. Both Jones and Dubnyk have GAA’s that are far too high.

The San Jose attack zone cannot keep up with the number of goals the Sharks are giving up, as they are scoring an average of only 2.70 goals-per-game. Logan Couture is the leader in goals scored for San Jose with 14 while Evander Kane has scored 12. Kane is the assists leader with 15, while Timo Meier has 14 assists. Kane Is the overall points leader with 27 and Couture has 23. San Jose is scoring only 18.6% of the time with the man advantage and has scored just 16 power-play goals this season.

Injury Report: Matt Nieto is questionable Wednesday for an undisclosed reason

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

San Jose is playing poorly this season sitting in 7th place in the West division, but the sharks are coming off a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles in the first of two consecutive games against the Kings. San Jose has won nine of the last 13 versus Los Angeles. Martin Jones had his best performance of the season on Monday between the pipes for San Jose as the Sharks goalie stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced on goal. Los Angeles has lost nine of its last 13 overall and the Kings are 0-5  over their last five games played after allowing two goals or fewer in their previous outing. Los Angeles also has lost 46 of its last 66 on the road.

San Jose Sharks -110

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Full-Game Total Pick

In the first meeting between the two of this current two-game series, just a combined three goals were scored in San Jose’s 2-1 victory. The total has finished under in 13 of the last 23 meetings between the two with six pushes and in 16 of the last 27 meetings between the two played on San Jose’s home ice, which also includes six pushes. The total has finished under in five of the last six overall for Los Angeles and in six of San Jose’s last nine.