NHL Picks: Kings vs. Sharks Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Friday, April 18, 2014 4:03 PM GMT

San Jose and Los Angeles will renew their heated rivalry on Sunday night in Game 2 of their playoff series. Our resident NHL betting odds expert breaks down this matchup, and releases a NHL free pick at the conclusion of his synopsis.

Bitter Rivals at it Once More
The Sharks will host the Kings on Sunday night in San Jose, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:05 PM ET. This will be Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals best-of-7 series in which San Jose holds a 1-0 lead. According to my projected NHL betting odds San Jose will be a -135 money line home favorite and the posted total will be 5.0.


Flying out of the Gate for the Sharks
The San Jose Sharks couldn’t have written a better script as to how they wanted to begin the 2014 NHL Playoffs. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period, and held a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the 2nd intermission in route to a 6-3 win. They received balanced scoring as 4 separate players each accounted for 2-points apiece in the win. The 6-goals were even more impressive considering the fact it came versus the best defensive scoring team in the NHL, and against an opponent in which they scored just 8-goals total in 5 regular season meetings this season. The Sharks are now 30-12 in their home building this season.


Kings Overwhelmed Early in Series Opener
In saying that the Los Angeles Kings came out flat in Thursday night’s 6-3 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks would be a vast understatement. Adding insult to injury was the fact that star goaltender Jonathan Quick was pulled from the game after the 2nd period after surrendering 5-goals on 28 shots on net. On a more positive note was the fact the Kings put together a strong 3rd period holding a 16-5 advantage in shots on goal, and scored 3 unanswered goals to pull within 5-3, before the Sharks cashed in on an empty net goal with under a minute to play for the final margin of victory. The Kings will look to take the momentum they established during the 3rd period, and carry it over to Game 2 of the series.


Final Analysis
This is a battle tested Los Angeles Kings team who was embarrassed by their effort in the first 2 periods of the series opener. They also received a rare poor showing from Jonathan Quick which will be highly unlikely to happen in consecutive games. San Jose tailed off a bit in the 3rd period of Game 1 after jumping out to a comfortable lead, and may become a victim of their own confidence in Game 2 of the series. The Sharks aren’t as good as they looked, and the Kings nowhere as bad they performed on Thursday. I look for a reverse of fortunes on Sunday night.

Free Pick: Kings +120 over the Sharks

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