New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 4, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -140 / New York Rangers +127 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Kings and Rangers square off at the Staples Center for game one of the Stanley Cup Final in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
The New York Rangers get their first taste of championship hockey in 20 years on Wednesday night as the Eastern Conference champions head into the Staples Center in LA to face off against the powerful Kings. The Blue Shirts were the first to qualify for the Cup final after ousting the Montreal Canadiens on home ice in game seven last Thursday before the Kings booked their ticket with a similar deciding game win on Sunday in what was the end of a spectacular series with the defending Cup champions. The Rangers have overcome a ton of adversity in these playoffs and continue to defy the odds and if tyhey want to hoist their first Stanley Cup since 1994 they’ll have to do so once again as they are huge underdogs against the Kings and rightfully so as the West champs have knocked off the Sharks, Ducks, and Blackhawks to get to this spot. Henrik Lundqvist has been brilliant in these playoffs and has to be considered the favourite to win the Conn Smythe from the New York side of things but he will have to have his best for this series against the Kings as LA is far and away the best team the Rangers have seen in the postseason to date.
The Kings have pulled off the unthinkable through the first three rounds of their playoff journey as they have won three straight game sevens on the road and have done so against the cream of the crop in the Western Conference as they have outlasted the Sharks, Ducks, and Blackhawks in what is a very impressive playoff resume. Los Angeles flew under the radar a bit this season as they had to compete for headlines with the other powerhouses in the league but for a team that is two years removed from winning the Stanley Cup and still has the majority of their core intact it should come as no surprise that they are right back in the mix to win the Cup again this season. Jonathan Quick has been a tad inconsistent but is a difference maker when he is on and against the Rangers who rely heavily on the play of Lundqvist he will have to be sharp in order to give his team a chance to win. This Kings team has been incredible to watch as all of their top players have been performing to the best of their ability as the likes of Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Drew Doughty have been insane to watch in these playoffs and while the Rangers have been a nice story I don’t see them competing at all in this series and that starts with game one. We are getting LA at a relatively nice price and to be honest I will be on them on the money line, regulation line, and puck line in the series opener and I personally think this series will be done in four or five.