a Southern California Showdown
The Ducks host the Kings on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with the opening face-off slated for 9:05 PM ET. This will be the deciding 7th game of their playoff series with the winner earning a berth into the Western Conference Finals. According to NHL betting odds the Ducks are a -120 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The road team has won 7 of the last 9 meetings between these teams, although the home team has won the last 2 in this series.
of Avoiding Elimination
The Kings were on the brink of elimination entering Game 6 of this series. Similar to the previous 4 occasions they came away with a win, and are now 5-0 in elimination games during this postseason. The Kings will be looking to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the 3rd consecutive year. Los Angeles has gone over the total in just 1 of their 11 Conference Semifinal games over the last 3 postseasons. The Kings can also take solace in knowing they're 17-5 in their last 22-games following a win.
Ducks Rookie Goaltender has been Lights Out
I can't say enough about the Ducks John Gibson who was called up from their AHL affiliate following Game 3 of this series. All he's done is stopped 88 of 93 shots on goal for an excellent .946 save percentage since being inserted as the starter in Game 4. As a matter of fact, his Game 6 start was only the 6th of his NHL career, with all of them taking place this season. He's 5-1 overall with an excellent .950 save percentage.
The play of the goaltenders in the final game of this series are sure to be a huge factor in which team comes away victorious. I've already touched upon the excellent recent play of the Ducks John Gibson. However, Jonathan Quick has been one of the best money goaltenders in the NHL during the last 3 seasons. Quick was the winner of the Conn Smythe award (Playoff MVP) during the Kings 2012 postseason run that culminated with a Stanley Cup championship. I just can't wager against a team with the character, and vast playoff experience the Kings have accumulated over the last 3 years. Especially when they're installed as an underdog.
Free Pick: Kings +110 over the Ducks