Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15)
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 21, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -145 / Los Angeles Kings +132 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Kings look to even the score with the Blackhawks as the two Western Conference giants meet up for game two at the United Center.
The Los Angeles Kings will look to shake off a lackluster series opener on Sunday afternoon with a rebound effort here tonight and head back to the Staples Center with home ice advantage but they know it’ll be a tough task to accomplish. The Kings have been playing a lot of hockey lately as they were stretched into a deciding game seven against the Anaheim Ducks and while successful in convincing fashion it was still one extra game they had to play that Chicago didn’t which gave the Hawks the edge in the series opener. The Kings have been up and down both on the road and at home in these playoffs but it hasn’t mattered where they were playing when the series is on the line as they have won back to back game seven road games and with these two teams being so tight it could very well go the distance once again. Jonathan Quick was good on Sunday but was bested by Corey Crawford who continues to get overlooked as a legitimate elite goaltender in this league and if he can continue to play the way he has at the United Center on the road than the Hawks will be a shoe in to repeat as Cup champs.
The Blackhawks remained perfect at home during the postseason after a 3-1 victory to start the series but they know this Kings team is battle tested and that they can notch a win on any given night. The Hawks did a good job at containing the Los Angeles attack as both Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik were quiet but with the abilities of those two guys leading the way and a ton of offensive balance the Kings know they can score with anybody and that includes a Chicago team led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Chicago is going to be a tough out and despite their play at home being ridiculous they have also played well on the road and if they can head into the Staples Center with a 2-0 lead they should feel confident that they can return home with a chance to wrap up the series if not do so in LA. While I have this series going the distance I think the Blackhawks continue their dominance at home with another win here and I leave it up to the Kings to turn the tables on home ice.