Free NHL Bets and Picks: Boston Hosts the Red-Hot Kings
Once again, Saturday brings a busy day of hockey. Twelve games fill the schedule. Here are my free NHL picks for October 28. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Los Angeles Kings (+107) at Boston Bruins (-118)
Los Angeles nears the end of their six-game road trip with an Eastern Conference battle against the Bruins. The Kings are 3-1 on the road trip so far. Boston is playing their last game of four straight at home. The Bruins are 2-0-1 at home on the stand.
The Kings are coming off one of the strongest games of the season. They shut out the Canadiens 4-0. Now the Kings are playing a Boston team that has had its ups and downs. The Bruins sit at 4-3-1 on the season.
One of the key battles in this game will be the Bruins power play versus the Kings penalty kill. Boston has the fourth highest power play in the league at 28.13 percent. Los Angeles has the league’s second highest penalty kill at 92.31 percent. I believe the Kings, who have not allowed a power play goal in the last two games, will win this battle. If they do, it could give them the edge needed to win this game.
Boston’s starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has missed some time with injury early in the season. Rask has struggled in the games he has played in though. Rask has put up a .882 save percentage and a GAA of 3.30. In those games Boston has a 1-3 record. The Bruins will need Rask to play better if they want to make it back to the playoffs.
The Kings goaltending has been great. Jonathan Quick has put up Vezina winner-like numbers up to start the season. Quick has a .944 save percentage allowing a GAA of 1.88 through eight starts. Quick showed no signs of slowing down last game as he shut out Montreal.
Los Angeles has allowed a league low nineteen goals in ten games. A lot of this has been because of Jonathan Quick. The defense hasn’t given Quick much help, the Kings allow around 35 shots per game. The defense will need to give Quick some extra help if the Kings want to maintain their success.
The Kings have not had any difficulty scoring, putting the puck in around four times per game. The goals for and goals against differential the Kings have put up are good signs that the Kings can continue to win. I believe the Kings will be able to beat an inconsistent Bruins team.
Pittsburgh Penguins (-110) at Minnesota Wild (+100)
The Penguins have been experts at winning close games recently. Pittsburgh won back-to-back 2-1 overtime games. The Wild enter after a win against the Islanders, but have had difficulty stringing together wins this season. The Wild have not had back-to-back victories yet this season.
The Wild are at a disappointing 3-3-2 record. Devin Dubnyk has not been at the top of his game this season. Dubnyk has a .896 save percentage and a 3.38 GAA through six games. Dubnyk will need to step up if the Wild want to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion.
Matt Murray has not put up his work this season either. Murray has a .912 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA. The start to the season was not kind to Murray, but after stopping sixty-one of sixty-three shots combined in his last two straight outings, Murray looks to be back on track. If he keeps those numbers up, the Penguins should be able to get a third straight win.
With players like Parise, Neiderreiter and Coyle out early this season, the Wild have had difficulty putting up offense consistently. Chris Stewart has led the team in points with eight. Staal, Zucker and Spurgeon each have seven points. Against a team that has been stellar on defense recently, the Wild could have issues putting up offense with no go-to-guy.
The Penguins have their top three guys all with eleven points. Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have all been point per game players this season. I believe these three will continue to run the offense against the Wild on Saturday night.
The Penguins power play could give them the edge in the matchup. Pittsburgh has scored twelve goals for an impressive 27.27 power play percentage. The Wild have put up a 24.00 power play percentage, but have only scored six power play goals. Both teams will be looking for the special teams to get going early.
As a slight favorite, I believe the Penguins are the best choice in the game. The Penguins have strung together impressive wins in their last two games, while the Wild have not won back-to-back games this season. If Murray can have another impressive outing, the Penguins should be able to take this game on the road.