Drew Doughty and Mika Zibanejad were separated, physically, by 4 hours and 17 minutes and 256.9 miles on Saturday.
Mentally and emotionally, though, the Los Angeles Kings defenseman and the New York Rangers top-line center were united since both teams had just finished losses; the Kings falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, while the Rangers were shutout 4-0 by the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
That Doughty and Zibanejad were copacetic is interesting, especially when placing hockey bets today.
“They gained momentum in the third period. (It) seemed like we were going to (get) the job done and then (we make) just one mistake and they got all the momentum,” Doughty told NHL.com’s Stefen Rosner. “…When we got a lead like 2-0 we just simply can’t be making mistakes like we did and we talked about net play. Two of the goals were net play and we just got to do a better job.”
Somewhere in the bowels of Capital One Arena, Zibanejad told NHL.com’s Harvey Valentine that the Rangers “just got to play better. Just doing, I guess, the simple things more and better. You’re going to have periods where you don’t play well, but you’ve just got to make sure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. That’s what we did today.”
Kings vs Rangers Best Bets
Although the Rangers are -120 moneyline favorites, you should ride with the Kings in today’s NHL game.
Despite the loss to the Islanders, the Kings began the 2023-24 National Hockey League season with an 11-0-1 record away from Crypto.com Arena.
Los Angeles scored both of its goals against the Islanders in the second period. But the Kings were unable to extend their advantage, which came back to bite them when New York captain Anders Lee scored the first of his two goals with 11:18 remaining in the third. Lee tied the game with 4:11 left in regulation, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau ended the game with a breakaway goal 13 seconds into overtime.
”We just worry about our game,” Kings coach Todd McLellan told The Associated Press’ Allan Kreda. “It’s (as) simple as that. Tomorrow nobody is going to ask me about it, which is fine.”
It’s likely that the Rangers were unwittingly echoing McLellan on their trip back from Washington D.C. following one of their worst performances of the season.
“It was not good from start to finish, so no sense dissecting it here publicly. We’ve got a game tomorrow night and we’ll need to be a lot better,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said, according to the New York Post’s Mollie Walker.
Laviolette wasn’t understating matters. Even though the Rangers finished with slight advantages in shots on goal (31-29) and total shot attempts (58-51), most of their shots were not especially dangerous as these heat maps from NaturalStatTrick.com reveal.
As such Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren – the brother of Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren – did not have to work particularly hard to record his second shutout of the season and the fourth of his career.
Moreover, it was the second straight game that the Rangers were outworked, as they lost, 6-2, to the Senators in Ottawa Tuesday night.
NHL Pick: Los Angeles Kings -105.
Kings vs Rangers Game Information
- Game: Los Angeles Kings (16-4-4) vs. New York Rangers (18-6-1).
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York
- Day/Time: Sunday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. P.M. ET
- Kings vs Rangers Live Stream: NHL.TV
Kings vs Rangers Betting Lines