Phoenix Coyotes (36-27-12) at Los Angeles Kings (44-26-6)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 2, 2014, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -186 / Phoenix Coyotes +169 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Coyotes look to keep their playoff chances intact as they head into the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Kings.
The Phoenix Coyotes are right in the mix in the NHL’s Western Conference playoff picture but the surging Dallas Stars overtook the final spot with a victory last night leaving the Coyotes on the outside looking in for the time being. Phoenix has been a scrappy team all season but they have lacked consistency as they haven’t really gone on either a big winning streak or a long losing streak which makes sense of their current standing in ninth place. The Coyotes are without Mike Smith between the pipes which to many signalled the end of the playoff chances but Thomas Greiss has stepped in nicely for them and while he is coming off a start against the Jets last night it is do or die time for them and I imagine he will be getting the bulk of the workload until Smith returns. The Coyotes will have to contend with Jonathan Quick between the pipes for the Kings.
Los Angeles could very well be the best sixth seed in league history as the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions have the recipe to claim the title once again this season but thanks to some ridiculous seasons from the teams above them the Kings are stuck in the six-hole. While the Kings are out of the running to claim the Pacific division crown and earn home ice advantage their opening round opponent remains to be seen as the Ducks and Sharks are battling for the division crown with the winner matching up against a wild card opponent and the loser having the luxury of hosting the Kings. LA is deep from top to bottom and have a Stanley Cup winning goaltender and coach which are two huge factors that you should consider when thinking about a potential Cup champion. While the Coyotes are the more desperate team I think LA is the better team and they’ll want to finish off the season in style and send a message to the rest of the league.