June 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM #52287
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Kings Look to Maintain Home Ice Dominance – Host Hawks in Game 4
It is 15 wins and counting for the Los Angeles Kings as they stretched their incredible home win streak with a rather impressive 3-1 win Tuesday night. The win came after two games in Chicago made it look like this series would be a cakewalk for the Hawks. Now momentum has swung West and the Kings will look to even the series Thursday night – and they won’t have to play against arguably Chicago’s best D-Man Duncan Keith who was suspended for his ugly slash to the face of Jeff Carter in Game 3.
Chicago Blackhawks (46-11-1-5) at Los Angeles Kings (36-21-3-4)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, June 6, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Hawks lead series 2-1
Hawks vs. Kings Betting Lines from betonline.com
Chicago Blackhawks +1½ -305 +105 Ov 4½ -131
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +255 -116 Un 4½ +119
The Chicago Blackhawks simply got beat in Game 3 in every aspect of the game. They were outhustled, outhit and ultimately outscored by a resurgent Kings attack. Chicago was unable to generate much sustained pressure and lost the all-important puck possession battle – something they had a decided edge in the first two games. Chicago generated only 10 shots in the first 40 minutes, including three in the second period but came on in the third – a little too late.
Nobody on Chicago got it done offensively in Game 3 and a few players on the team have to wake up! Patrick Kane hasn’t found the net in seven games, and he’s got just two goals in the postseason after scoring 23 in the lockout-shortened regular season. Jonathan Toews although playing a physical game hasn`t been effective in the offensive zone and now the Hawks will be forced to play without Duncan Keith who is easily leading the club in ice time and ranking third in playoff scoring with 10 points. It`s a good thing for Bryan Bickell. Bickell scored his seventh goal of the postseason with 33.6 seconds left in the second period and almost tied it but was absolutely robbed by Jonathan Quick in the third.
One has to wonder about the health of Niklas Hjalmarsson as well after taking a puck to the inside of the knee in Game 3.
Goaltender Corey Crawford still did his part allowing just two goals in the loss. He needs some support from his forwards in order for the Hawks to win however. Funny – I was saying the same about his counterpart just a couple of days ago!
The Los Angeles Kings returned to the dominant, physical, furious forechecking game that made them successful in the playoffs so far – and it paid off on Tuesday night. A strong bounce back by Jonathan Quick didn`t hurt either! Quick was forced to make only 19 saves Tuesday but a few were absolute robberies – saves that really preserved the win.
Los Angeles`s problems are familiar ones – they have scored no more than two goals without an empty-netter in its last eight games but they seem to get just enough on home ice to win. Jeff Carter and Justin Williams have six goals apiece in Los Angeles’ 16 playoff games, but nobody else has more than defenseman Slava Voynov’s five goals. Dustin Brown is the next best with three goals.
Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider:
• Under is 10-1-1 in CHI last 12 road games.
• Under is 11-4-5 in CHI last 20 overall.
• CHI are 46-17 in their last 63 overall.
• Under is 8-2-1 in LA last 11 vs. Central.
• LA are 40-11 in their last 51 home games.
• Under is 13-4-4 in LA last 21 home games.
• CHI are 14-6 in the last 20 meetings.
• Under is 35-16-7 in the last 58 meetings.
Game 3 looked totally different than the first two of the series. The Kings simply look like a different team at home. The Kings now have 15 straight wins overall at home and are undefeated at Staples Centre in this year’s playoffs. Mike Richards may be back but Tyler Toffoli has been superb in relief. Simply put the Kings look back to form – until they head back on the road!
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -116
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