The Anaheim Ducks Can
They are on fire right now. The Ducks have won three straight in this series and have had no issues beating Kings netminder Jonathan Quick. The Ducks have averaged three goals per game in the last three contests and when they can get to that number, there’s a good chance they’re going to be winning.
The Kings have just lost their way. They have just five goals in those three games and can’t seem to sustain any offense. The Kings are vulnerable right now, so take the Ducks with your NHL picks as they’ll take advantage.
The Los Angeles Kings Can Win Because…
They finally got to Gibson. The 20-year-old rookie stood on his head in Game 4 and was reasonable in Game 5 too. However, the Kings finally broke through with a few easy ones that Gibson would probably like to have back. The Kings now know that if they keep firing pucks, they’ll start lighting the lamp with more consistency. That’s what happened in Game 5 as the Kings had 42 shots on net after averaging 25.3 in the previous three games. They need to keep that up in Game 6.
As for their defense, the Kings need to clean up the mistakes. They’ve been surprisingly sloppy in their own end in this series. They’re capable of fixing that – as evidenced by their performances in Games 1 and 2 – but they better do it quick.
Outlook & Pick
The Ducks are very comfortable playing in Los Angeles as they’ve now won all five of their visits to the Staples Center this season. However, the Kings finally found a way to beat Gibson in Game 5, shaking his confidence a little and stealing some of the momentum. The Ducks held a 4-1 lead in the second period but had to cling to a 4-3 win. I’ll expect that momentum to carry over, so I’ll take the Kings on the NHL odds in Game 6. I expect this series to extend to seven games.
Pick: Kings -140 at 5Dimes