Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
10:05 PM EST. OT included. There are seven teams in the Western Conference (San Jose, Los Angeles, Calgary, Colorado, St. Louis and Anaheim) that are separated by five points and that are battling for three playoff spots. Four of those seven teams will miss the playoffs while three will get in and the Kings are right in the middle of the mayhem. In a must win game at Staples Center on Saturday night, L.A. was buried 7-2 by the Blues and gave up 43 shots to the offensively challenged Blues. Last night, in not only a must win game, but in a response game after getting whacked 7-2, the Kings beat Vancouver 3-0 but they could have just as easily lost 3-0, as L.A. held a very slight Corsi edge but were outshot by the banged up Canucks. The Kings are a pedestrian 5-4 over their past nine games and will play its third game in four days here and tail end of back-to-backs.
The Coyotes will be coached by John MacLean for the time being, after announcing that Rick Tocchet will be taking a leave of absence to deal with a family illness. Though they still sit last in the NHL, the Coyotes have played well of late, going 9-3-1 over the last month. Remember, this is a team that didn’t win in regulation until the 21st game of the season so they were eliminated by December. What they have done since is impressive but the market has virtually ignored just how tough an out the ‘Yotes have been due to their atrocious start. The Coyotes have allowed just one goal or less in five of their past 10 games. They are getting great goaltending and they’re scoring goals too. The Arizona Coyotes are going to impact who gets in and who doesn’t and figure to remain highly motivated in games like this one against rivals they can make life miserable for. The Kings are an unexciting beatable team in an unfavorable scheduling spot here.
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ARIZONA +104 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.08)