Kings at Blues Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest NHL odds here.|
In a return to last season’s baseball-style NHL schedule, the St. Louis Blues will host the Los Angeles Kings for the second time in three days on Monday.
Undefeated, St. Louis improved to 4-0-0 with a 7-3 loss to the Kings on Saturday night. And while Los Angeles will likely come out with a better effort on Monday, the Blues are one of the first behemoth teams this season, well-deserved favorites to repeat with another win.
Kings could be without a defensive leader
After opening their season with a 6-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights, the Kings struggled to generate offense. They have averaged just two goals per game in their next four outings. Even Anze Kopitar, who scored six goals in the Kings’ first four games, lost the point on Saturday to the Blues.
At the other end of the ice, defense had been a force. But after blue line leader Drew Doughty left Friday’s game against Dallas in a knee-to-knee collision with Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, the Kings came face to face with St. Louis one night over. late. Los Angeles took seven penalties, a season-high, and the Blues paid them off with four power play goals. Meanwhile, the Kings went 0 for 4 on the power-play and allowed 40 shots, a season-high.
Early reports suggest Doughty’s injury is a slight sprained knee and is not as serious as it initially appeared. It would be surprising to see him return on Monday, but if he does, it would improve the Kings’ outlook.
In net, Cal Petersen suffered loss on Saturday, slipping to 1-2-0 for the season. Sunday was a day off for both teams, so it won’t be clear until Monday morning at the earliest whether the Kings plan to return with Petersen or turn to Jonathan Quick. He is 0-1-1 and last played on Friday, in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Stars.
The Blues remain undefeated
Everything went well for the Blues at the start. They’re averaging 5.5 goals per game – the league-highs – and are second only to Edmonton with a power play that is now 6-to-14, or 42.7 percent, after Saturday night’s explosion.
The offense is everywhere, with nine players averaging one point or more per game. Winger Jordan Kyrou is the breakout star, with eight points so far. Vladimir Tarasenko looks like his old self again, with four points, and David Perron’s hat trick on Saturday already gives him five goals for the season – just one short of the league lead.
With just one shorthanded goal allowed this season, the Blues have a whopping 92.3% shorthanded success rate. At net, Jordan Binnington brings back memories of his 2019 Stanley Cup run. Binnington has played every minute so far this season, posting a .919 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average. .
And those numbers may not even reflect how good he was. St. Louis have won all four of their games with margins of two or more, and six of the 11 goals Binnington has allowed this year have indeed come in very quickly, with his team holding a big lead in the third period.
Kings’ Choice vs. Blues
Along with all of their success on the ice, the Blues are also in the midst of a comfortable family. Saturday was their home opener; after Monday’s game, they will have two days off before hosting the Colorado Avalanche.
Meanwhile, the Kings will complete a four-game road trip Monday night, with their third game in four nights. It’s a tough scenario to overcome, even when a team doesn’t miss its best defender as they take on one of the hottest lineups in the league.
As long as they are not too confident, the Blues should easily clinch their second home victory of the year on Monday. And while no streak lasts forever, St. Louis’ wide margins of victory so far this season suggest it could be a good opportunity to bet the puck line for a bigger potential comeback.
At +135, DraftKings gives the Blues about a 42% chance of beating the Kings by two or more goals. Seems reasonable.
To take: line of the puck of the Blues (+ 135); play up to +120.
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