New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Friday June 13, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -170 / New York Rangers +154 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Los Angeles Kings can clinch the Stanley Cup on home ice on Friday while the Rangers look to extend the series and shift it back to New York.
The New York Rangers survived a must win game four on home ice on Wednesday night as Henrik Lundqvist as he has done so many times in his career with the Rangers single handily carried his team to victory and as such they have another shot at keeping their Cup dream intact. The Blue Shirts were badly outplayed for the first time in this series and much like their fate in the first three where they perhaps deserved to win they came away on the lucky end after the Kings played their best game of the series. New York was fortunate enough to have two LA pucks sit right on the goal line including one in the final minute that would have forced overtime but some heads up defensive play from the New York blue liners kept the improbable outcome favouring the home side and if they can catch some breaks again here tonight there is a good chance they can force a game six. The Rangers obviously are undefeated in elimination games so far in these playoffs and a large part of that has been the play of Lundqvist and he will have to be razor sharp once again if he and his team want a shot at hoisting the Cup.
The Kings have their second crack at hoisting the Cup on Friday night if they can get the job done on home ice and while they lost game four on Wednesday they have to be feeling confident heading into this spot as they were the much better team on Wednesday. Los Angeles clinched the Cup on home ice two seasons ago in a game six victory over the New Jersey Devils and they can enthrall the home crowd once again with a win here in what would send the Staples Center crowd into frenzy. The Kings have been the better team between these two throughout the playoffs in my opinion and it is clear that LA’s resume and path to get here is a lot more impressive but New York has actually played a lot better than I expected in this series aside from the one game they won on Wednesday. While it would be nice to see hockey’s culminating series go the distance I just don’t see it happening and I think we see the end of New York’s dream tonight as the Kings get the job done and celebrate with the crowd on hand.