With this matchup, we can expect a highly competitive series filled with plenty of action and storylines.
NHL odds makers have pegged the Blackhawks as -150 favorites to win the series, while supporters of the Kings get back +130 on the money line.
Let’s take a closer look at both teams and determine if it’s the Kings or Blackhawks that hold better value for our NHL picks to win this series.
The Scoop on the Kings
Los Angeles reaches the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive season, as they will be fighting to repeat as Stanley Cup champions; but before that happens they must take care of business against the Blackhawks in this series.
If the Kings want any shot at winning this series, they must find a way to win on the highway. They have played six road games in this year’s postseason, which has resulted in just one victory (1-5). During last year’s playoffs, the Kings opened up each of their four series on the road, taking a 2-0 lead in all of them before heading home with a nice cushion for Games 3 and 4.
That said, the Kings are 8-3 in their last 11 overall and 5-2 in their last seven following a win in their last contest. They have also won an impressive eight of nine when playing on at least three days of rest between games.
The Scoop on the Blackhawks
Chicago is also a recent Stanley Cup champion, winning it all in 2010 - not to mention they were clearly the best team in hockey throughout this lockout-shortened season and owned the stingiest defense in the league to go along with the 2nd rated offense in the entire NHL.
Furthermore, the Blackhawks have been a dominating team on their home ice, winning 37 of their last 52 games played at the United Center. They have also won 44 of 60 overall.
If they continue to be unbeatable at home, they could make quick work of the Kings, but this is the playoffs and Los Angeles seems to find ways to win as they have proven over the last two postseasons.
Head to Head
The last time these two adversaries saw each other in the playoffs was back in 1974, when Chicago beat Los Angeles in five games.
In regular season action, Chicago has taken 12 of the last 17 meetings, including seven of ten at the United Center.
However, the road team has won six of the last eight meetings.
After a lackluster regular season the Kings have come alive in the playoffs and find themselves back in the Western Conference Finals, with a tremendous opportunity to repeat as champions.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have been resilient throughout these playoffs – especially after being left for dead in the Red Wings series, only to bounce back and win in seven games.
NHL Series Pick: Los Angeles Kings +130