Blackhawks Can Win Because…
Their special teams let them down again but they can correct that. The Blackhawks won the battle in five-on-five in Game 3 but they couldn’t kill off power plays and that cost them. They only took three penalties but each were crippling. The Blackhawks got ahead 1-0 but the Kings promptly responded on the power play. And then when the Kings held a 3-2 lead in the third period, Drew Doughty iced the game with a goal just as a penalty was expiring.
The Blackhawks need to stay out of the box or do a better job at killing penalties (and it wouldn’t hurt if their power play woke up). But when both teams are at full strength, Chicago should continue being the better team in this series.
The Los Angeles Kings Can Win Because…
The Blackhawks are scuffling. They got what they wanted in Game 3: the first goal, held two separate leads and had four power play opportunities, and they still lost. It’s become evident that when the Kings want or need to get it going, they are able to flip the switch and really get the Blackhawks running around in their own zone.
Jonathan Quick – for a second straight game – outplayed Corey Crawford and saved the Kings. The Blackhawks should have been up 3-1 by the end of the first period but Quick kept his team in the game and they eventually picked him up.
Everything that the Kings are doing is working and with home-ice advantage in Game 4, that should continue.
Outlook & Pick
The Kings have the momentum but this series should head back to Chicago 2-2. The Blackhawks are too good to continue getting burned on the power play. They had allowed four power play goals throughout the first two rounds (in 46 opportunities) but have basically given up four in the last two games. Look for them to cut that off and edge the Kings in another tight affair. Take the Blackhawks with your NHL picks.
Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks
+125 at TheGreek