The Los Angeles
Kings Can Win Because…
They’ll play better defense in Game 2. The Blackhawks only had 20 shots in Game 1 and only had two power plays. In other words, the Kings got what they wanted in those regards: limited exposure to Jonathan Quick and a very disciplined team-wide performance. However, the Blackhawks still managed a way to find three goals. If they only have 20 shots in Game 2, the chances are pretty good that the Kings allow less than that.
As for the Kings' offense, they just need to capitalize better on their opportunities. They need the first goal as they’re a different team when playing with the lead. They are not built to come from behind.
Blackhawks Can Win Because…
Corey Crawford is outplaying Quick right now. We know that the Blackhawks have the better offense in this matchup – that’s a given. But if the Blackhawks are going to have the better goaltending too, this series might last just four or five games.
Crawford has a 1.90 GAA and .933 save percentage this postseason, which is the best in the NHL. He stopped 25 of 26 shots in Game 1 whereas Quick only faced 20 shots but only make 17 saves. If he keeps this up, the Blackhawks are in great shape.
Outlook & Pick
Chicago is the obvious choice with your NHL picks here. They’ve now won eight of nine meetings between the teams, averaging nearly three goals per game. With Crawford outplaying Quick, there is no way the Kings win this series.
With the juice being too high, though, take the under as both goaltenders are playing at a high level and should lead to another low-scoring affair. 25 of the last 35 meetings between the teams in Chicago have gone under.
NHL Pick: Under 5 at TheGreek