Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday May 3, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -128 / Los Angeles Kings +116 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Los Angeles Kings look for their fifth straight win after completing the massive come back against the Sharks earlier this week as they head into Anaheim for game one with the Ducks.
The LA Kings are quite possibly the best fifth seeded team in NHL playoff history and while they didn’t look the part for the first bit of their series with the Sharks they showed why they’re a Cup contender by steamrolling their way to four straight wins and ulatimely claimed a hard fought series with San Jose. The Kings are only the fourth team in league history to win a series after being down 3-0 and it wasn’t as if they battled back against an also ran as clearly San Jose was a force this season and were a trendy pick once again to make it to the Cup finals. Los Angeles heads into Anaheim looking to steal home ice advantage in the first game and take on a Ducks team who found their groove towards the end of the series with Dallas but one to me that is still overrated and aren’t the best team in the Western Conference. Jonathan Quick who was brilliant in LA’s four game winning streak will look to continue his success as he goes up against some combination of Jonas Hiller and Frederik Andersen.
The Ducks were the heavy favourites against the Dallas Stars in the opening round and while it looks relatively comfortable on paper it was clear that Anaheim struggled in the opening round as both of their losses were very convincing and their victories weren’t overly impressive. This could be a bit of a loaded spot for Anaheim from my perspective as personally I have a soft spot for the Kings and I think the Ducks are entirely overrated but I am not buying into this line as Anaheim are close to -130 favourites and despite being at home it won’t be much of a road game for the Kings. Anaheim’s top line is very solid no question as Hart Trophy nominee Ryan Getzlaf and his wingman Corey Perry are among the league’s elite but beyond that their offensive depth doesn’t come close to LA’s and I think the Kings have the edge on the blue line and in the crease as well. I understand that Anaheim has had more time to rest and that they’re at home but I think the Kings will take this series with ease and that starts with a win on the road to open things up.