Los Angeles tasked with cooling off New York
At 30-16-1, the streaking Rangers are climbing in the Metropolitan Division. The knowledge that Henrik Lundqvist once again appears unstoppable is merely icing on the cake.
New York’s star netminder should be back between the pipes for tonight’s matchup against Los Angeles, with a 7 p.m. ET puck drop at Madison Square Garden. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the host bunch odds of -130 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Kings represent +110 underdogs.
For much of December, Lundqvist didn’t look like a perennial Vezina Trophy finalist. Yet something has definitely clicked over the past two contests. The 34-year old blanked Detroit yesterday afternoon, stopping all 21 shots he faced in the Blueshirts’ 1-0 triumph. That came on the heels of a 23-save effort vs. Toronto.
Lundqvist’s recent surge undoubtedly means bad news for an offense-starved Los Angeles group. Darryl Sutter’s troops rank 22nd in the league in goals per game (2.48). Top-line center Anze Kopitar’s mired in a particularly rough slump, having notched just two tallies in the past five-plus weeks.
While there’s plenty of time remaining in the regular campaign, the Kings (22-20-4) sit three points out of a playoff spot. Unfortunately, they’re far from regal on the road so far this season. Stand behind Lundqvist & Co. to take care of business.
MONDAY NHL FREE PICK: KINGS/RANGERS UNDER 5.5 GOALS