The late game on the NHL’s five-game Wednesday slate features the Arizona Coyotes (19-15-5) and the Los Angeles Kings. The clubs have split their first four meetings with two wins each. Most recently, it was the Coyotes winning 5-2 on Monday.
Arizona is a slight underdog on the road at (+100), while the home Kings check-in at (-117).
Puck drop is at 10:00 P.M. Eastern.
Arizona Coyotes Preview: Building Momentum
The Coyotes have been playing excellent hockey lately, winning seven of their last nine games. Their two losses in that stretch came against the first-place Colorado Avalanche.
Goaltender Adin Hill has been remarkable in place of Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta, both of whom are out while dealing with injuries. There is no timetable for when Kuemper or Raanta would return to the lineup.
This season, Hill has a 7-4-1 record, a 2.66 GAA, a .913 save percentage, and a shutout. He figures to get the start in net on Wednesday.
For the Coyotes to win, they need to shoot the puck more. Arizona averages a league-worst 26.5 shots per game, but they’ve been taking quality shots and are opportunistic with their scoring. Despite the low shot generation, the Coyotes average 2.67 goals per game; while that is the 11th-lowest production, it’s better than expected given shot output.
Defensively, Arizona is susceptible to giving up a high shot volume, allowing the eighth-most shots (31.4) and 11th-most goals against (2.97) per game.
Joining Kuemper and Raanta on the injury report are center Tyler Pitlick (undisclosed) and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body). Neither is expected to play Wednesday.
Los Angeles Kings Betting Preview: Crashing back down to Earth
The Kings have crashed back down to earth lately, losing nine of their last 12 games. They’ve been outscored 11-4 during their active three-game losing streak.
Los Angeles’ offense is scoring more than Arizona’s by the slimmest of margins, scoring 2.68 per game. This season, the Coyotes have scored five goals more overall than the Kings, but Arizona has also played two more games.
Despite some underwhelming scoring, the Kings have proven to be a force on the power play. L.A. scores a respectable 22.2% on the power play this season. The penalty kill unit is stout as well, ranking sixth in the league at 84.4%.
Cal Petersen is likely to start Wednesday night’s contest. This season, he has a 7-9-4 record, a 2.57 GAA, and a .923 save percentage.
Brendan Lemieux is expected to make his Kings debut Wednesday. The Kings acquired Lemieux from the New York Rangers for a fourth-round draft pick.
This season, Lemieux had two goals and five assists in 31 games for the Rangers, but he averaged just over 10 minutes of time on ice per game. He should see an expanded role in L.A.
Matt Roy is still in COVID-19 protocol, while Tobias Björnfot (undisclosed), Olli Maatta (upper body), and Martin Frk (lower body) are all still out of the lineup.
Coyotes vs. Kings Betting Odds & Lines
Bet this game at MyBookie, which lists the spread breakdown with the Coyotes at +1.5 (-260) and the Kings at -1.5 (+210).
Free Betting Pick
I’m a bit surprised to see the Kings as favorites here. Their growing injury list, recent losing streak, and a loss to the same opponent earlier in the week have me scratching my head to figure out why Los Angeles is favored.
Arizona is the better, healthier team, and with better betting value, I’m rolling with the Coyotes Wednesday night.