Collision in California
The Kings will host the Ducks on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the opening face-off slated for 9:35 PM ET. This will be Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal series led by the Kings 2-1. According to NHL betting odds Los Angeles is a -155 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The road team has won the last 6 meetings between these teams. These clubs have seen just 1 of their last 9 meetings go over the total.
Ducks off a Mammoth Character Win
Don't write the obituary just yet for the Anaheim Ducks. Despite losing the first 2-games of the series on home ice, the Ducks have a renewed optimism following a 3-2 road win in Game 3 on Thursday night. After being stymied by red-hot Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick at home, the Ducks were finally able to somewhat solve that roadblock. In terms of a constructive criticism, the Ducks do need to sustain more offensive zone pressure than they displayed in the previous 2-games. Anaheim is averaging 31.1 shots on goal per game this season, but had just a combined 38 shots on net over the last 2-games. The Ducks have gone a terrific 19-6 this season following a road win.
Kings Still in Control
Granted the Kings relinquished a chance to have a stranglehold in this series following their home loss on Thursday. However, at the end of the day they still have a 2-1 series lead, and continue to maintain home ice advantage. After a string of 5 consecutive games in which Jonathan Quick looked invincible, he encountered an off night in Game 3, allowing 3-goals on just 22-shots. Los Angeles has gone under the total in 11 of 14-games this season after winning 4 of their previous 5-games.
I look for the Kings to regain their focus tonight and respond with a huge effort. It's highly unlikely that Jonathan Quick won't be sharp in consecutive games. The Ducks on the other hand are searching for the right answer in goal. The veteran Jonas Hiller will be the probable starter tonight after Frederic Andersen was injured in Game 3. It won't be easy, but the Kings will grind out a hard fought win.
Free Pick: Kings -155 over the Ducks