The Los Angeles
Kings Can Win Because…
They haven’t played their best game yet but lead the series 2-0. Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter have combined for just three points. The Kings have trailed the entire time in both games save for their overtime winners. If they start playing with the lead or scoring the first goal, things will be very different.
It’s become clear that the Rangers can’t handle the Kings size. Not only have they been outmuscled (more so in Game 1 than Game 2), but they’ve really had a tough time clearing the front of the net for Henrik Lundqvist. They just don’t have any answers right now. Take the Kings with your NHL picks.
The New York Rangers
Can Win Because…
They’re going to straighten things out at home. Let’s face it: the Rangers are built to protect leads. They got to the Stanley Cup finals because that was their exact strength. Eventually, they’ll sort that out and find a way to snuff out the Kings once they get ahead again.
The good news for the Rangers is that they’ve had no problems getting the lead. They led 2-0 in Game 1 and Game 2. If they can just iron out their defensive malfunctions, they should be able to even this series up in the next couple of games. Playing in front of a raucous crowd at Madison Square Garden should inspire them to bring their best effort.
Outlook & Pick
This is going to be the Rangers best punch here but it might not lead to a win. They’ve played great and have lost both games while the Kings have been so-so, yet they’re up 2-0. Don’t be surprised if the Kings cash in once more and as a road dog, they might be worth a look. However, over makes more sense to me as offense has not been a problem for the Kings or Rangers so far. The games have been wide open, free flowing and borderline chaotic. That doesn’t jive with a low total of five.
NHL Pick: Over 5 at TheGreek