The LA Kings host the Minnesota Wild to kick off the 2021 season. Here are the betting odds, things to watch, lineups, and how to watch.
The 2021 season is officially upon us, and the LA Kings will play meaningful hockey for the first time in over 300 calendar days. Los Angeles was one of the seven teams who failed to qualify for the playoff bubble, so it will be interesting to see how rusty the team is in the early goings of Thursday’s season opener.
The Minnesota Wild were one of the final teams the LA Kings played before the 19-20 season was prematurely shut down. In that matchup, Los Angeles tallied seven goals, highlighted by Dustin Brown‘s hat trick with Anze Kopitar, Blake Lizotte, Trevor Moore, and Gabe Vilardi rounding out the scoring.
Cal Petersen got the start in between the pipes, stopping 25-of-28 shots. Let’s look at how these teams match up.
Tale of the Tape (19-20 Stats)
The LA Kings and Wild were comparable in nearly all the major categories last season, but Minnesota was able to secure a playoff spot because they could finish at the net. The Kings were an elite puck possession team in 19-20, but they struggled mightily to light the lamp, finishing with the second-fewest goals.
Despite a nearly eight-win swing in records, these two teams are matched up fairly evenly, and the Wild are slight favorites at a -115 money line, courtesy of the Action Network. Both teams figure to be candidates for the fourth playoff spot in the West Division, with Colorado, St. Louis, and Vegas favorites to finish in the top three.