It feels like I haven't talked about the Los Angeles Kings in a while and for the most part the 2012 Stanley Cup champions have been holding a steady position just behind the pace setters in their packed division.
Inter-conference match-ups have really hurt the Devils up to now, as their only success in seven versus Western clubs came over Nashville last weekend. Meanwhile, LA have been one of those teams contributing to the massive dominance the West holds in those contests.
Jonathan Quick is out for over a month so Ben Scrivens gets a deserved extended chance in net, as he's played extremely well when called upon to relieve LA's number one. He'll surely relish facing an attack as limited as the Devils.
Sometimes they misfire completely, as evidenced by them being shutout a league high four times already this season. However, generating shots is a continued problem and look for the Kings physical defenceman taking chances and stepping up to meet them on the rush. I like LA's chances of a clear win here, so go for the big pay-off by giving them a handicap of 1.5 at 3.70.
An anxious affair is likely in Columbus, as the Blue Jackets host Montreal with both clubs in the midst of significant slumps.
It was the Canadiens who had much more leeway to drop points beforehand. November has not been kind to Montreal so far. They have picked up just one win in six and have dropped the previous three road games by at least two goals.
It's a similar story for Brandon Dubinsky and the Jackets but they've at least scooped a couple of bonus overtime loss points on tough assignments this week. Dubinsky and Nick Foligno have found some scoring form but Marian Gaborik remains ice cold.
Goalie Carey Price deserves the most credit for the Habs' tight defensive record that has balanced out a middle of the road offence. Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere have the excuse of niggling injuries but need to pick up their efforts.
Montreal are favourites here, despite being on the road and their poor form. Take Columbus to use this opportunity at 2.65.
Los Angeles Kings to overcome a -1.5 handicap at 3.70
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