Pittsburgh Penguins (37-14-2) at Los Angeles Kings (30-19-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 30, 2014, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -105 / Pittsburgh Penguins -105 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Kings and Penguins meet up in Los Angeles in what many expected to be a preview of the Cup finals in the preseason.
The Penguins have been the class of the Eastern Conference since the puck dropped in October and a large part of that has to do with the personal success that Sidney Crosby is enjoying as he is on a fast track to locking up the Art Ross and Hart trophies. Pittsburgh is a scary talented team that is loaded offensively in the form of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal, and Jussi Jokinen to name a few but also have some great players on the back end with Kris Letang and Paul Martin anchoring the blue line. The only question mark for the Penguins remains whether or not Marc-Andre Fleury has the mental capacity to carry the team on his back in the postseason as the last two premature exits from the team has fallen squarely on Fleury’s shoulders. The Pens head into LA with a five point edge on the Bruins for first place in the East but are still seven back of the Ducks in the race for the President’s Trophy.
The Kings are a team many picked to represent the West in the Cup finals this year as they possess a number of skilled players as well as a handful of crucial role players that were part of the team’s 2012 Cup title. However, the Kings have gone on a bit of a slump as they’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 contests and are holding on for dear life in the Pacific division leading the Canucks by just three points for the third automatic playoff spot. Despite their woes at the moment I think the Kings remain a contender to win the Conference come playoff time as they have a roster fit for a postseason run and once Jonathan Quick regains his form which I expect he will doing in Sochi in a couple weeks I think LA will spring back into the discussion of Cup contenders. However, we are getting the Penguins at even money which rarely happens especially with the way they have played this season and passing up on the best player in the game isn’t something I try to do very often.