Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks Pick-Odds-Prediction - 5/18/14
Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -150 / Los Angeles Kings +140 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks meet in the postseason for the second straight year.
Los Angeles knocked off Anahem in seven games and the Blackhawks ousted Minnesota in six to reach the conference finals. These teams net in the finals a season ago with Chicago dispatching the Kings in five games before eventually hoisting the Stanley Cup. The LAK lost their three regular season contests to Chicago with a grand total of four goals scored so the question is whether this is simply a bad match up for them.
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The Kings offense has turned it up a few notches in the postseason and appear to be a different animal right now. Los Angeles didn't score a ton during the year but are lighting the lamp to the tune of over three goals per contest thanks to Marian Gaborik who tops the postseason with nine tallies while Anze Kopitar leads in points with 19. Not what what you would expect to see from the defensive minded Kings. On the flip side the Blackhawks defensive pairing of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have been solid and a reason the team has allowed just over two goals (2.04 GAA).
Los Angeles was banged up defensively with Robin Regehr and Willie Mitchell hurt which has Drew Doughty logging over 27 minutes so how this turns out against a very dangerous and explosive Hawks attack will be interesting. Chicago has capable scorers everywhere with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews needing special attention given they have combined for seven game winning goals. If it comes down to goaltending the LAK have the edge, right? Corey Crawford has a 1.97 GAA while Jonathan Quick has yielded six goals in the last three games after a dismal start.
I'm undecided on the opener right now but I'll have time to think about it while waiting for a line. I'm leaning Chicago but I'm sure the juice will be high against a team that has can win on the road. I'll have a pick a few hours before game time at the very latest...