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San Jose Sharks vs. L.A. Kings Free Game 7 Pick | NHL Preview

Sharks vs Kings NHL Spread/Handicapping

The Los Angeles Kings are right where they want to be – at home hosting Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks in a building that they have won all three games in their semi-finals series and have won 13 straight games overall dating back to the regular season. The Kings were also 7-0 last year in the playoffs during their Stanley Cup run.

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San Jose Sharks (32-19-3-4) at Los Angeles Kings (34-19-3-4)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: RDS, TSN, NBCSN
Series tied 3-3
Sharks vs. Kings Betting Lines
San Jose Sharks +1½ -240 +131 Ov 4½ -121
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +200 -144 Un 4½ +110

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First Of Western Conference Game 7s – Kings Host Sharks Tuesday Night

It would seem that everything is tilted in LAs direction but as we all know – anything can happen in a Game 7. A quick start is all that’s needed – the team scoring the first goal has won every game of the series.

First let’s get a bit of history out of the way. Los Angeles is participating in its first Game 7 since 2002, when it lost to Colorado in the first round. The Kings’ last seventh game at home was in the opening round in 1989, when they defeated defending champion Edmonton. San Jose is 5-2 in Game 7s, with its most recent seventh contest being a 3-2 victory over Detroit at home on May 12, 2011. The Kings own a 3-4 record in Game 7s.

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The San Jose Sharks enter Tuesday night’s game having won Sunday night to extend the series and looking good to post a possible upset Tuesday night.

They have the best offensive player in the series – Logan Couture netted the game-winning goal in each of the next two contests in San Jose – including one in overtime and they got Adam Burish back in Game 6 and he registered a team-high four shots on goal while winning all four of his faceoffs in 9:41 of ice time.

There isn’t a ton of offense going on and not much is expected in Game 7 so one or two difference makers could mean victory – advantage Sharks. [ad-4437448]

Antti Niemi is another difference maker on the Sharks roster. He has been sensational for San Jose. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA and .951 save percentage. He, like Logan Couture is one of the best players on the ice night in and night out. It’s true that he may be the second best keeper in the series but when the other one is Jonathan Quick – second aint bad!

The Los Angeles Kings are a different team than they are on the road. But the lack of Game 7 experience raises some red flags here. Mike Richards is 3-0 in Game 7s, including a memorable second-round series in 2010 that saw his Philadelphia Flyers force a Game 7 after rallying from a 3-0 series deficit and a 3-0 hole in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. Justin Williams won a pair of Game 7s with the Carolina Hurricanes en route to winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. But that’s it for experience in the deciding game. With nobody rolling on offense for the Kings – they do look a little hard to trust.

But like the Sharks. Like the Kings have a goaltender to lean on. Jonathan Quick has been typically terrific – a 1.54 GAA and .947 save percentage so far in the playoffs.

Betting Prediction

:

A few trends to consider:
• CHI are 43-15 in their last 58 vs. Central.
• CHI are 42-16 in their last 58 overall.
• Under is 18-7-1 in CHI last 26 road games.
• Under is 7-2-2 in DET last 11 home games.
• Under is 15-5-9 in DET last 29 overall.
• DET are 356-158-16 in their last 530 home games.
• Under is 19-5-4 in the last 28 meetings.
• CHI are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Detroit.

The home team has won an astounding 15 of the clubs’ past 16 meetings in the past two seasons. In Game 7’s you can usually throw out the trends but it is impossible to ignore home ice domination these clubs have exhibited lately. Jonathan Quick has done it all playoffs long – there has been absolutely no let up. With goals at a premium in the series – Quick outduels Niemi!

Pick: Los Angeles Kings -144

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