Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15) at Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday May 24, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -130 / Chicago Blackhawks +118 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Kings and Blackhawks get back to the ice on Saturday as the scene shifts to Los Angeles for the next two at the Staples Center.
The Chicago Blackhawks were poised to take a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings before heading to the road for games three and four as they held a 2-0 lead mid way through the second period and if not for a series changing save from Jonathan Quick on Brent Seabrook could very well have been up three. Instead, the Kings netted one before the end of the second frame and then poured on five more in the third period to convincingly take game two by a 6-2 final giving them home ice advantage and momentum heading into tonight’s game three. The Blackhawks had been unbeaten at home during these playoffs before game two’s collapse so it’ll be interesting to see how they respond after a loss as they have to head into LA where the Kings haven’t been world beaters by any means but have been solid. Corey Crawford needs to respond after a sloppy third period on Tuesday night and while he has been much better at home than on the road he is more than capable of stealing a game here for the Hawks and they’ll need him to help contain the high powered Kings offense.
Los Angeles made a statement in the third period of game two as they rallied back from a potential 3-0 deficit in the second period and coasted to victory in a game that was obviously much closer than the final score line indicates. The Kings have been great in circumstances of adversity and while game two wasn’t a must win by any means they showed they’re very much a Cup threat and while that seems like a foregone conclusion now that there are only four teams left, to me they have been contenders all season long. The addition of Marian Gaborik at the trade deadline has worked wonders for the Kings as he leads the playoffs in goals scored and is second in total points behind Anze Kopitar and for a team that gets so much praise for their defending and goaltending it is their offense that has been lights out in these playoffs. This should be a very exciting contest and while the value lies with the visitors which is tempting to bite on I do think the Kings hold the edge in this spot and I think they get a game three win before settling for a split in game four and heading back to Chicago.