California Clash on Ice: Ducks vs. Kings Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Monday, May 5, 2014 12:07 PM GMT

Los Angeles and Anaheim reconvene on Monday night for Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series. Our sports picks expert analyzes this upcoming contest, and offers his NHL free pick at the conclusion of the article.
California Clash on Ice
The Ducks host the Kings on Monday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:05 PM ET. This will be Game 2 of their best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal series which the Kings hold a 1-0 lead. According to NHL betting odds Anaheim is a -130 money line favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The road team has won the last 4-games between these clubs. These teams have seen just 1 of their previous 6 meetings go over the total. This series pits the #1 offense (Anaheim) during the NHL regular season versus the #1 defense (Los Angeles).
 
Resurrection of the Kings
The Kings have come a long way from the team that was down 3-0 in their quarterfinal series versus San Jose, and were outscored by a wide 17-8 margin in those contests. Since then, they’ve strung together 5 consecutive wins in a row. While coming back to defeat San Jose in 7-games during the quarterfinals, they became just the fourth team in Stanley Cup history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. They were able to continue building momentum in Game 1 of this current series with a dramatic 3-2 overtime win. Marian Gaborik scored the game tying goal with just 0:07 to go in the third period, and then became the hero once again by scoring the overtime winner. It’s no coincidence that the Kings fortunes have turned at the same time their goaltender Jonathan Quick regained his top form. After being brutal in the first 3-games of the playoffs, Quick has been nothing short of sensational during this recent 5-game win streak. In those 5-games he’s posted a superb .959 save percentage. Anze Kopitar has been brilliant for the Kings offensively in the postseason with 4-goals, 9-assists, and 13-points which is best among all scorers in the 2014 NHL Playoffs. Kopitar had a hand in all 3-goals during the Game 1 win over Anaheim by contributing a goal and 2-assists. The Kings have now won 12 of their last 17 on the road including their last 3 in a row. They’ve gone under the total in just 1 of their previous 9-games.

Rebounding from a Tough Loss
The Anaheim Ducks were defeated at home for the first time at home this postseason in the opening game of this series. The Ducks have been outstanding at the Honda Center in Anaheim this season in posting a 32-13 record. Bruce Boudreau decided to go with Jonas Hiller in goal for Game 1 of the series after playing Frederik Andersen for the majority of the opening round. Hiller was solid in stopping 33 of 36 shots on goal in the loss. Anaheim has received stellar efforts this postseason from their two star players Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who’ve combined for 16-points. The Ducks have gone 10-1 the last 2 seasons when playing with same season revenge stemming from a home loss. Anaheim has gone under the total in all 6-games this season following a home 1-goal loss.
 
NHL Betting System
Any road team with a total of 5.0 or less that’s won 4 straight games in a row, and has a money line winning percentage of .510 to .600, versus an opponent with a winning record, has seen 65 of those 100-games (65%) go under the total during the previous 18 seasons. When placing your NHL picks, these stats should not be ignored. 

[gameodds]7/284945/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Free NHL Pick:
Kings/Ducks to go under the total of 5.0