NHL Predictions: January 30 Including Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins
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Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHL Predictions with Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Head-to-Head: Kings 1-0 Penguins

The last time these two teams met in LA, it resulted in a very ugly defeat for the Penguins who then went on to win six straight. Although they’re coming off of eight straight games with points, the Penguins have struggled to play a full sixty minutes since 2021. The Kings should look to take advantage of this weakness. Both these teams have got great goaltending all season which ultimately leads us to a great game. The one area the Penguins separate themselves from the Kings is their defensive play. They overall suppress chances while allowing primarily all offence from the blue line. On the other end of the ice, the Kings allow most of their offence net-front but luckily the Penguins don’t finish many chances there. The Kings are a very fast hockey team that can really confuse teams’ positioning. Although LA’s powerplay hasn’t been great they’ve generated tons of high event chances all over in the offensive zone. The Penguins have had a rough few games on the penalty kill which the Kings should look to capitalize on. Overall the two players to key in on should be Anze Kopitar and Evgeni Malkin.

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Kings win 4-2

Seattle Kraken vs New York Rangers

Head-to-Head: Kraken 0-1 Rangers

After losing two in a row, the Rangers look to grab a much-needed two points vs the Kraken who are coming off of a gutsy win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Everyone knows how the Rangers play. They dominate you on the powerplay and they have arguably the best goalie in the NHL in Igor Shesterkin. The unfortunate thing for the Kraken is they don’t even have the offence to put up a fight against the Rangers. Seattle is the third-worst offensive team in the NHL struggling to create chances of any kind. The one area we may see whether the Rangers storm will be the Kraken’s ability to limit chances against. A player the Rangers will need to contain is Jared McCann who is having a great season, shooting a whopping 17% while scoring seven more goals than expected. On the powerplay, Seattle should look to defend Chris Kreider who is extremely dangerous this season. Overall both teams are quite disappointing when it comes to 5v5 offence while Seattle has the major edge in net and the Kraken have the major edge defensively. With Shesterkin in net, expect the Rangers to grab the win in the big apple.

Rangers win 3-0

San Jose Sharks vs Carolina Hurricanes

Head-to-Head: Sharks 1-0 Hurricanes

The last time these two teams faced off in November it resulted in a 2-1 overtime win for the Sharks. At this point in the season, Carolina is in a playoff spot with games back whereas San Jose is very much in the hunt for a Western Conference wildcard spot. The Hurricanes come into this game absolutely dominating offensively and in goal whereas they lack the defensive ability. The Sharks have been led by their core in Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns. San Jose will need to find Vezina contender Frederick Andersen’s weakness as he’s been very impressive all season. Carolina is a very shot-heavy team that creates offence at a very high rate so the Sharks will look to limit high event passes along with slot chances. Carolina will need to defend the zone entry when the puck carrier is Timo Meier as he’s lethal at creating chances off the entry. San Jose will look to get some rebound control from their goaltender as Carolina creates tons of rebound chances. All in all, this should be another back and forth game.

Hurricanes win 3-2

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