Huge Markets in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals
The Kings will host the Rangers on Wednesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the opening face-off slated for 8:05 PM ET. This will be the opening game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. According to NHL betting odds, the Kings are a -150 money line home favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. These teams split their 2 regular season meetings this season with each club winning on the road. Both of the contests went ‘under’ the total.
Rested and Road Tested Rangers
The Rangers will enter the opening game of the series beneficiaries of 3-days more rest than the Kings. The rest was much needed for “The Broadway Blue Shirts” after being extended to the full 7-games in each of the first 2 rounds, and then having to endure a grueling 6-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Montreal Canadiens.
The Rangers have been one of the best road teams in hockey this season going 31-20 in that role, including 29-14 in the last 43. They won 2 road games in each of the first 3 rounds during the 2014 playoffs.
A Historic Road to the Finals for the Kings
The Los Angeles Kings have definitely taken a unique path on their way to the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. They became just the 4th team in the glorious history of the NHL to overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round to defeat San Jose. They were able to overcome a 3-2 series deficit to the Anaheim Ducks in the Conference Semifinals. Then, in the Conference Finals, they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in a series that was culminated by a Game 7 sudden death overtime win on the road.
They’ve also became the first team in NHL history to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals after going the full 7-games in each of their first 3 series, in addition to be the first team in league history to win three Game 7 deciding games on the road during the same playoff year.
Goaltending Battle will Speak Volumes
This Stanley Cup Finals series will feature two of the best goaltenders in the world. One seems to be on top of his game, while the other has played below his standards. With the exception of Game 5 of the Conference Finals at Montreal, Henrik Lundquist has been brilliant during this postseason, and has been an integral part of why his team has advanced this far. The Kings’ Jonathan Quick has been off his game this postseason, and has been bailed out on several occasions during these playoffs by the Kings resurgent offensive production. In his defense, he’s faced 3 of the top 6 scoring teams during the NHL regular season, including the top 2 scoring teams (Anaheim/Chicago) during the previous 2 rounds.
NHL Betting System
Any team which is coming off 6 or more consecutive games going 'over' the total, and they allow 2.4 goals or less per game, has gone 24-6 (80.6%) over the last 18 seasons.
Free Pick: Kings -150 over the Rangers