June 3, 2013 at 11:22 PM #52280
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Kings Return Home Looking for a Spark
The Los Angeles Kings return home Tuesday night in a 0-2 hole and looking as though they may have met their match in the Western Conference final. The Kings though, have won 14 straight at home since March, and they’ve won seven straight home playoff games dating to last season’s Stanley Cup clincher – they have been virtually untouchable at Staple Center. For Chicago, they head into Game 3 looking for more of the same but for the Kings they appear to have more questions than answers for the President’s Trophy winners.
Chicago Blackhawks (46-10-1-5) at Los Angeles Kings (35-21-3-4)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: RDS, TSN, NBCSN
Hawks lead series 2-0
Hawks vs. Kings Betting Lines from betonline.com
Chicago Blackhawks +1½ -260 +118 Ov 4½ -142
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +220 -130 Un 4½ +129
The Chicago Blackhawks have now won five straight games dating back to Game 5 against Detroit – they look a lot more like the team that easily won the President’s Trophy and dominated the regular season. In Game 2 they did the unthinkable – chase Jonathan Quick from the net and put four past him – something nobody had done in 34 straight playoff games over the past three years. The last time Quick gave up four goals in a game came earlier this year against these very Chicago Blackhawks. Could Chicago be Quick’s kryptonite?
Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus have each recorded points in five straight playoff games, Patrick Sharp continued his hot hand in the playoffs with a pair of assists in Game 2 for his third straight game with at least a point, Bryan Bickell has been terrific, Brandon Saad has woken up and Patrick Kane, despite not hitting the score sheet is flying again in the series.
Blackhawks goalie Crawford has officially surpassed Jonathan Quick by lowering his goals-against average in this postseason to 1.67 along with a .938 save percentage. Amazing as it seems. Things are going well for Chicago – the same can’t be said for…
The Los Angeles Kings are a struggling bunch. The Kings have scored just 29 goals in 15 playoff games, easily the lowest scoring average for any team that won a playoff round. Star center Anze Kopitar has just two goals in 15 games dating back to end the regular season, while captain Dustin Brown has just four points in the playoffs and Jeff Carter has just one point in four games. Justin Williams is about the only King that is clicking right now – troubling signs when expected to match up with the mighty Hawks.
Mike Richards, the Kings playoff scoring leader with a measly 10 points sat out Game 2 and could realistically sit Tuesday as well with concussion-type symptoms. This is a huge void in the Kings lineup – he is counted on in every situation for LA – power play, penalty killing and even strength.
Jonathan Quick will bounce back between the pipes for the Kings – he is too good and too prideful not to come up with a strong effort. He is the reason the Kings hung around in Game 1 and was maybe due for a dud on Sunday. We’ll give him a mulligan for his Game 2 effort – he certainly deserves one!
Betting Prediction: A few Trends to consider:
• Under is 9-1-1 in CHI last 11 road games.
• CHI are 46-16 in their last 62 overall.
• Under is 10-4-5 in CHI last 19 overall.
• Under is 7-2-1 in LA last 10 vs. Central.
• LA are 41-12 in their last 53 home games.
• LA are 2-6 in their last 8 Tue. games.
• Under is 34-16-7 in the last 57 meetings.
The Los Angeles Kings are saying all the right things ahead of Game 3 – let’s hope the play on the ice is as confident and calm as the demeanor in the dressing room. Simply put LA was totally outplayed in the first two games in Chicago. But this team has been in this position already in the playoffs (down 2-0 in a series). I think they bounce back with Jonathan Quick stealing Game 3 on home ice. I love the way Chicago is playing but 14 straight wins on home ice cannot be overstated. LA is better than they’ve been playing and will prove it Tuesday!
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -130
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