Western Conference Finals Game 2: Kings vs. Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks were able edge out the Los Angeles Kings in the series opener, and now will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals when the two teams clash on the ice once again at the United Center on Sunday night.
Oddsmakers at bet365 have pegged the home team as the favorites in the crucial Game 2 matchup, listing the Blackhawks as -150 on the money line, while offering a return of +130 on the Kings.
Supporters of Chicago also have the option of giving up -1½ goals, with an attractive payback of +205 on the NHL odds. Taking the +1 ½ with Los Angeles comes at a heavy price of -245.
The game's total is coming in at 5 goals at -110 on the over as well as the under. The Kings have stayed under the posted total in 8 of their last 11 games played on the road (8-1-2).
After the Game 1 loss, the Kings have now dropped to 1-6 on the highway during this year’s postseason. Ironically all of the losses have come by a final score of 2-1. Furthermore, Los Angeles has played 14 contests in the playoffs thus far and 12 have been decided by just a one-goal margin.
The Kings have had little success against the Blackhawks as of late, going just 3-8 in their last 11 at the United Center and 5-13 in their last 18 overall. However, the Kings are 6-2 in their last 8 games when failing to score at least two goals in their prior matchup.
Meanwhile, Chicago was able to ride the hot goaltending play of Jonathan Quick for the Game 1 victory. Quick stopped the puck 34 times, with 17 saves coming in the 1st period. His sensational play led to the Blackhawks finding a couple of openings on offense in the 2nd period when they scored their only two goals of the game, but as it turns out, that was all they needed to earn the win.
Wit the victory, the Blackhawks have moved to a perfect 5-0 in their last five Western Conference Finals games. They are 9-2 in their last 11 matchups played on a Sunday and 10-3 in their last 13 when scoring two goals or less in their last contest.
I still like the Kings to win this series for my hockey picks, but they cannot afford to lose this one and find themselves in a 2-0 hole that they might not be able to dig out of anytime soon.
The Blackhawks are winning…albeit not very convincingly, which makes me think it will catch up to them sooner rather than later; and sooner will come tonight.
NHL Free Pick: LA Kings +130 at bet365