The Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-2) travel to face the Los Angeles Kings (8-6-1) at Crypto.com Arena on Thursday. Chicago is coming off a 4-0 loss against the Jets on Saturday. The Blackhawks committed four penalties in the game, conceding three power play goals. Arvid Soderblom started in the loss and only had 21 saves on 24 shots against (.875%).
Los Angeles beat the Wild 1-0 on Tuesday. Gabriel Vilardi was the only player to score for the Kings. Jonathan Quick recorded his zeroth shutout of the season with 21 saves.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Blackhawks won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 2-1 (OT) victory on November 3. Jonathan Toews and Jason Dickinson were on the scoresheet for Chicago. Blake Lizotte scored Los Angeles’ only goal. Soderblom got the win, saving 32 of 33 shots (.969%).
Chicago is averaging 2.83 goals per game for the season, 24th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Kings team that is allowing 3.53 goals a game (25th). Meanwhile, Los Angeles has found the net 3.27 times a game on average, 13th in the league, and the Blackhawks are allowing opponents to score 3.17 goals per game (16th).
Chicago averages fewer shots/game (25.5) than any other team in the league, though the team’s 11.1% shooting percentage is eighth. Los Angeles has been one of the league’s less successful shot-stopping teams, ranking No. 29 with a team save percentage of .888%. Power play opportunities should be plentiful for the Kings, as the Blackhawks are averaging 5.00 penalties per game, fifth-most in the NHL.
The visitors’ 12.58 penalty minutes a game ranks sixth-highest. The home team has been penalized 4.33 times a game (16th) for an average of 9.07 minutes (19th). The Blackhawks’ 23.68% power play percentage ranks 13th in the league, while the Kings are 26th with a conversion rate of 18.46%. In terms of defending power plays, Los Angeles has the league’s 21st-ranked PK% at 77.19%, while Chicago is 27th at 71.43%.
With 10 points this season, Patrick Kane is the top skater for the Blackhawks. He has two goals and eight assists in 12 games. In the net, Soderblom (1-2-1) is Chicago’s top goaltender by goals against average. He has a 2.76 GAA and a .924% save percentage. Alex Stalock (3-2-1) leads the Blackhawks in games played in goal. He has a GAA of 2.93 and a save percentage of .914%.
Vilardi and Kevin Fiala lead the Kings in scoring with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Vilardi has 10 goals (4th) and five assists in 15 games, while Fiala has three goals and 11 assists in 15 games. Quick (4-4-1) has the best goals against average for Los Angeles at 3.34. He has a save percentage of .890%.
HOME AND AWAY
Chicago is 1-3-1 on the road this season. Los Angeles is 4-3-0 at home this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (-110)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.