Kings vs Blackhawks in Game One Tonight

blackhawkskings-wrThe defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings, will visit the President’s Trophy winners, the Chicago Blackhawks to decide which team will represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. Game one is tonight in Chicago at 5:00 EDT.

The Blackhawks are coming off a seven game series win over the Detroit Red Wings in which they became only the 25th team in 249 tries in NHL history to come from behind three games to one to win a series. The Blackhawks had to win three in a row and they did it, winning Game Seven in overtime on a Brent Seabrooks goal for a 2-1 win. Chicago will be trying to win its second Stanley Cup title in four years if they can get past the Kings. They started the season after the prolonged work stoppage by setting the NHL record for scoring at least one point in every game to start the season as they did it in their first 24 games. After they finally lost in regulation in Game 25, the regualr season was already half over. The President’s Trophy and home ice was all but wrapped up.

The Kings started the season with a bit of the Stanley Cup hangover. They lost to the Blackhawks on opening night 5-2 and stumbled out of the gate. For a while, it looked like the Kings could miss the playoffs altogether as the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks looked to be the teams to beat in their division. One February 17, the Kings lost at Chicago to fall to 5-6-2. But after that game they won five in a row and nine of the next eleven to get back in to playoff race. Their longest losing streak without scoring a point since that Feb 17th loss has been two games.

The Kings come into the series having won in seven games over the Sharks in a series where they road teams were 0-7. Last year, on their Cup winning run, the Kings played exceptionally well on the road. They will have to get some of that magic back if they are to get a chance to defend their title as the Blackhawks will have four of the seven games at home. The Kings will need to win at least one time in Chicago.

Oddsmaker has the Kings +1.5 -235 while Chicago is -1.5 +195 ATS. Moneyline is Los Angeles +145 and Chicago -165. Over/under is 5 with over +130 and under -150. So who do we like?

It depends. Moneyline, we say go with Chicago. ATS take the Kings +1.5. We think it will be 3-2 Blackhawks so go whichever way you want on the over/under. May as well go over since the odds are better.

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