Laying -1.5 With
The Kings are on fire right now. Their offense is rolling, averaging 4.3 goals per game over their last six, and 3.40 in the playoffs. The Rangers simply won’t be able to keep up from an offensive standpoint. The Kings have already gone through some good defensive teams like San Jose, who was fifth in goals allowed this season.
As for the Rangers, they haven’t faced any defensive juggernauts. The Philadelphia Flyers are weak in that regard (20th in goals allowed per game), the Pittsburgh Penguins have goaltending issues in the playoffs, and the Montreal Canadiens lost Carey Price.
The Kings led the league in goals allowed, and should be able to stymie a Rangers squad that has only averaged only 2.70 goals per game this postseason, which is eighth among all playoff teams.
Taking +1.5 With The Rangers
The Rangers have been fantastic in Game 1’s in the 2014 postseason, winning all three of theirs. As for the Kings, they are just 1-2 in Game 1’s these playoffs.
The Rangers have done a great job of jumping out ahead, surprising the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in Round 1, the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in Round 2, and crushing the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 in Round 3. Combined with the fact that the Blackhawks could be fatigued after their third straight seven-game series (the Kings will have had less rest than the Rangers), and you have a number of reasons to take the Rangers with your your NHL picks.
Keep in mind that the Rangers have lost eight times this postseason, and have lost by two or more in six of those games. I expect the Kings to win Game 1, so taking them on the puckline is the best play that makes the most sense for me.
Free NHL Pick: Kings -1.5 at Bodog.[gameodds]7/295786/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]