Home Ice Disadvantage
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 5 of their Western Conference Semifinal series which is all tied up at 2-games apiece. According to NHL betting odds Anaheim is a -125 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The road team has won the last 7-games in these head-to-head clashes. The Ducks are 6-2 in their last 8 encounters with the Kings. The Kings have seen just 1 of their 12 Western Conference Semifinal playoff games go over the total during the last 3 seasons.
Mighty Ducks on the Road
Anaheim's chances in this series looked pretty dim after losing the first 2-games at home, and facing an opponent that had reeled off 6 playoff wins in a row. However, they showed the utmost character and resiliency in coming back to win the next 2-games on the road to even the series at 2-2. In another absolute gutsy move once again by the Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, he inserted rookie John Gibson in goal for Game 4. Gibson had just been called up the day before from the Ducks AHL affiliate. It was just Gibson's 4th NHL start this season, and all he did was respond by stopping all 28 of the Kings shots on goal to earn the shutout in a 2-0 win. Despite starting only 4-games this season, Gibson is now 4-0 with a 1.00 GAA, and a brilliant .965 save percentage. Gibson is widely regarded as the best young goaltending prospect in all of hockey. Boudreau began the playoffs by starting Frederik Andersen in goal instead of the veteran Jonas Hiller who had started 55 of the Ducks 82 regular season games.
Kings Won't be Deterred
A lot of teams would hang their heads and be hard pressed to recover in this type of scenario, but the Kings aren't one of those clubs. Granted they did squander an excellent opportunity to seize control of this series after winning the first 2-games on the road. However, let's not forget this is the same club that became just the 4th team in NHL Stanley Cup history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the first round versus San Jose. This is also the same team that came back from down 2-0 versus St. Louis in the first round of last season's playoffs by winning the next 4-games in that series. The moral of the story is that the Kings are resilient, and possess a ton of character. They may get beat, but it won't be due to shortcomings in the mental aspects of the game.
NHL Betting System
Any road team with a total of 5.0 or less that's facing a division opponet, and is coming off a home shutout loss, has seen 61 of those 85-games (71.8%) go over the total during the last 18 seasons. Bet this game to go over the total for your NHL picks.
Free Pick: Kings/Ducks to go over the total of 5.0