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Florida Panthers vs. Los Angeles Kings Predictions, Picks and NHL Preview – February 18, 2017

Florida Panthers vs. Los Angeles Kings Predictions, Picks and NHL Preview – February 18, 2017

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Florida Panthers vs. Los Angeles Kings Betting Preview


Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017, 10:00 PM ET

Line: Florida Panthers (+140) at Los Angeles Kings (-160); total: 5.0view all NHL lines


Betting on the Florida Panthers (25-20-10)

Moneyline: +140

Remaining unfazed by their current five-game road trip are the Florida Panthers, who won their third-consecutive game away from the Keys this Friday with a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

A game after registering his 1,900th point in the NHL, ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr once again gave hockey fans a treat by scoring Florida’s go-ahead goal against the Ducks in the second period of Friday’s contest for his 10th goal of the season. The Panthers offense as a whole has been on fire of late, scoring a whopping average of 5.6 goals during their three-game road win streak.

And despite having surrendered no less than four goals in their past two outings prior to Friday’s game, the Panthers appear to have clamped down on defense as well, with James Reimer stopping 35 of Anaheim’s 36 shots.

Can Florida keep up this momentum to stay in the mix for a playoff spot in the East? They’ll play the second contest of a back-to-back at Los Angeles this Saturday, and beating the Kings is really easier said than done because of the evident fatigue from the tight schedule. Then again…

Betting on the Los Angeles Kings (28-24-4)

Moneyline: -160

Make that three losses over the last four for the Los Angeles Kings, who were stunned by the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, 5-3.

Despite racking up 44 shots and three goals against the Coyotes, the Kings’ poor goaltending has once again gotten the better of them. They’ve allowed exactly five goals to their opponents in each of their three most-recent losses, and that’s even with normally dependable Peter Budaj minding the net in those games.

Budaj has started the last nine contests for Los Angeles, and it appears that he needs a breather to recuperate from his last few disappointing performances. However, if his backup Jeff Zatkoff does get the starting nod against the Panthers this Saturday, the Kings better be ready to be for a shootout because they have a dismal 2-11 record with Zatkoff manning the steel posts this season, including five-straight losing decisions to date.

On the other hand, LA did just beat the Panthers in Florida last week, 6-3, marking the team’s only victory over its past four games. Furthermore, the Kings have won their last seven meetings against the Panthers at Staples Center by a combined score of 24-9 since the 2005 season. Throw in the benefit of facing a tired Panthers squad, and Saturday’s showdown could very well put them back on the upswing this weekend.

Writer’s Prediction

The Panthers (+140) stay hot by escaping with a 3-2 overtime victory in Los Angeles.

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Mark
Written by Mark

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