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Sharks, Kings Cap Back-To-Back Series With Important Points On The Line Saturday Night

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/14/2013 10:11:34 PM

With just two points separating fourth place from tenth in the Western Conference standings, there isn’t much room for error. That will make this week’s home-and-home series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings that much more important. Both sports betting teams will try and ignore the out of town scoreboard when they skate at the Staples Center on Saturday night, as they try and remain focused on playing their game and picking up as many points as possible before the final stretch.

San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings
Saturday March 16, 2013 – 10:30 PM ET
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
NHL Sportsbook Line: Los Angeles - 130

The Kings have been excellent at home so far this season, winning nine of their first 12 games and clinching at least a point in 10 of them. That doesn’t project well for a San Jose team that has struggled on the road with just four wins in 13 games so far, and has struggled to find ways to score goals.

NHL Betting Preview: San Jose Sharks

The Sharks didn’t have any problem scoring goals early on in the season, when Patrick Marleau was scoring two goals in each of his first five games and opening up more room for his teammates to create around him. The well has gone dry since Marleau’s run to open the year began, and the result is San Jose’s average goals per game dropping to just 2.2, the second-worst mark in the NHL. There is no excuse for a roster as talented as the Sharks have to be struggling this much at the offensive end, and while the strong two-way play the team has exhibited has kept them in the hunt, the lack of goals is why they are on the outside looking in to the Western Conference playoff picture.

NHL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Kings

The Kings won’t be able to relate to what San Jose is going through as long as Jeff Carter continues to produce at the level he has, as he is near the top of the NHL with 17 goals this season. Carter has provided the offensive spark that Los Angeles needed, and the result is an offense that ranks 10th in the league with an average of 2.9 goals per game. Jonathan Quick has settled down after struggling somewhat out of the gate, and is still capable of stealing a game on his own. The Kings haven’t had to compromise much while opening up on offense, and still rank in the top-half of the league in goals allowed.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

San Jose has struggled on the road this online betting season, particularly when matched up against some of the tougher teams that don’t give up a lot of room at their own end of the ice. The Kings can check off both of those boxes because they have been excellent at home thanks in big part to their strong two-way play, and as long as they are scoring goals it will be very difficult to slow them down.

NHL Betting Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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