Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks 12/19/23 – As the NHL regular season heats up, the Los Angeles Kings, boasting an impressive 16-6-4 record, are set to face off against the struggling San Jose Sharks, who stand at 9-18-3. This upcoming match on December 19, 2023, at the SAP Center in San Jose, is drawing significant attention in NHL betting predictions circles, not just because of the contrasting forms of the teams but also due to the intriguing individual matchups it presents.
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks 12/19/23
When: Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 10:30 PM ET
Where: SAP Center at San Jose
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks 12/19/23 Betting Odds:
— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 19, 2023
Goaltender Cam Talbot vs. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood
Cam Talbot enters this matchup in peak form, having won four straight starts while allowing just 5 total goals against over that span. His 2.03 GAA and .927 save percentage on the season demonstrate Talbot’s consistency in the crease all year long. Facing a struggling Sharks offense that averages a league-low 2.4 goals per game, Talbot should be in line to continue his dominant run. His technical skill and poise under pressure will likely stifle San Jose’s attack all night long. Expect Talbot to make the difficult saves look routine as he neutralizes the Sharks’ limited scoring chances. The veteran netminder has played nearly mistake-free hockey of late, and that trend should continue against the cold Sharks on Tuesday night. Given the multitude of weapons at his disposal up front, Cam Talbot likely only needs an average performance to guide the Kings to another victory.
Mackenzie Blackwood has endured his fair share of struggles in the early part of this campaign. His 3.67 GAA through 20 starts is among the highest marks league-wide among regular starters. While his defense shoulders some blame, Blackwood’s subpar .900 save percentage indicates he has not played to his potential either. And facing the Kings’ dynamic offense that averages 3.5 goals over their past 10 games spells trouble for Blackwood here. The Los Angeles attack features no shortage of firepower, from Anze Kopitar to Adrian Kempe to Kevin Fiala. That trio could bombard Blackwood with shots and apply relentless pressure in the offensive zone. If recent results are any indication, Blackwood could yield 4, 5 or even 6 goals against the surging Kings. For San Jose to remain competitive, their goaltender must channel the form he showed earlier this year in scattered quality starts. But Blackwood has struggled mightily of late, posting an 0-3 record in his last 3 outings.
Kings’ Dominance: A Statistical Overview
The Kings have been firing on all cylinders, led by center Anze Kopitar. His balanced scoring and playmaking, combined with Adrian Kempe’s and Kevin Fiala’s contributions, have been integral to the Kings’ offensive success. Their ability to dominate both in power plays and regular shifts has been a nightmare for opponents.
Sharks’ Struggle: Unpacking the Numbers
The Sharks, led by Tomas Hertl, have shown flashes of brilliance but lack consistency. Hertl’s leadership, along with contributions from Mikael Granlund and William Eklund, needs to translate into more effective play, especially in power-play situations, to challenge the Kings’ defense.
NHL Betting Odds: TBD, Over/Under: TBD
The current betting odds are yet to be determined, but given the Kings’ form, they are likely to be favored. Bettors should closely watch the puckline and moneyline as they are set, which will offer more insights into the expected dynamics of the game.
Los Angeles Kings Betting Trends
Kings are 5-0 in their last 5 games.
LA Kings are 2-3 in their last 5 games against the spread
Kings are 8-6 in their road games against the spread
The totals have gone OVER in 1 of Kings’ last 5 games
The totals have gone OVER in 7 of Kings’ 13 last games at home
San Jose Sharks Betting Trends
Sharks are 1-4 in their last 5 games.
San Jose Sharks are 1-4 in their last 5 games against the spread
Sharks are 6-10 in their road games against the spread
The totals have gone OVER in 3 of Sharks’ last 5 games
The totals have gone OVER in 5 of Sharks’ 14 last games at home
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Betting Picks
Given the statistical analysis and betting trends, the Kings appear to be the safer bet. Their offensive firepower and defensive stability, led by Talbot, make them favorites. However, the Sharks could capitalize on home advantage and if Blackwood steps up, they might challenge the Kings.
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Score Prediction: Kings 5, Sharks 2.