Los Angeles Kings vs. Ottawa Senators Pick & Prediction MARCH 7th 2024

Even after a defeat, the Los Angeles Kings believe they have something to build upon as they host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

The Kings are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The result snapped their modest two-game winning streak but Los Angeles has found a better defensive game, having surrendered just four goals in its last three outings.

“They’re playing a style of hockey that can win, that’s difficult, that can get you into the playoffs,” interim coach Jim Hiller said. “We’ll just have that as what’s right in front of us right now. The league is extremely tight, the standings change every night, but we’re starting to play pretty consistently as the type of game that’s going to get you into the playoffs.”

Thanks to the single point earned against the Western Conference-leading Canucks, Los Angeles moved back into third spot in the Pacific Division. The Kings and reigning Stanley Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights are tied with 73 points, but Los Angeles has one game in hand.

“It’s always disappointing (to lose), but I feel we’re in a pretty good direction right now as a team,” defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov said. “We’ve just got to work day by day and step by step. It’s not going to be a huge jump right away. We’ve just got to fight to get two points every single night, that’s our goal.”

Offensively, forward Trevor Moore has five points (two goals, three assists) over his last three games.

The Senators find themselves at the other end of the spectrum as they endure another frustrating campaign. Ottawa is trending toward missing the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season and arrives in Los Angeles in the throes of a five-game losing skid.

“Guys are hungry. Guys just want to win,” goaltender Mads Sogaard said after Ottawa’s 2-1 loss in Anaheim on Wednesday. “Now, we’re on the losing end of things and nobody like that, and guys are hungry to get out of that and get in the win column, get some together.”

The Senators have lost all 12 road games against Western Conference teams this season, and all in regulation time. Ottawa has yet to play at Los Angeles, San Jose, Winnipeg and Minnesota.

Making the Anaheim loss sting even worse is Ottawa was tied at 1-1 heading into the third period and outshot the Ducks 18-5 in the final frame.

“That’s a tough one,” forward Parker Kelly said. “A lot of Grade-A chances in the third period. But the sun’s gonna come up and we’ve got to regroup and get ready for L.A.”

Who suits up will be an interesting study.

The Senators might have lost two players due to undisclosed injuries in the Anaheim game, defenseman Thomas Chabot and forward Matthew Highmore. Plus, earlier in the day, Ottawa traded forward Vladimir Tarasenko to the league-leading Florida Panthers for a pair of draft picks. Tarasenko had collected 17 goals and 24 assists in 57 games in his lone season with the Senators.

“It’s a business,” Kelly said. “Everyone liked Vladdy, and when a trade happens, you’ve got to move on.”

–Field Level Media

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