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Kings Look To Respond Versus Blackhawks As Series Shifts To Los Angeles

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/3/2013 7:25:40 PM

The Los Angeles Kings are undefeated at home in these playoffs with seven-straight wins at the Staples Center. Anything less than an eighth-straight win and the defending Stanley Cup champions will be in big trouble. The Kings lost back-to-back games to open their second-round series versus the Chicago Blackhawks, and now face what amounts to a must-win situation as the series shifts to Hollywood for game three on Tuesday. Los Angeles will draw on its experience as reigning Stanley Cup champions and try to get back in this online sports betting series, but this is undoubtedly the toughest test they have faced dating back to last year’s championship run.

Chicago Blackhawks @ Los Angeles Kings
Tuesday June 4, 2013 – 9:00 PM ET
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
NHL Sportsbook Line: Los Angeles – 140

The Presidents trophy-winning Blackhawks have dominated the pace of each of the first two games, swarming the Kings’ usually stout defense and even chasing Jonathan Quick in game two. Chicago scored four goals in the first two periods of that win, ending Los Angeles’ NHL-record streak of 37-straight playoff games without conceding more than three goals.

NHL Betting Preview: Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are the hottest team left in the NHL playoffs right now, riding the momentum of a three-game win streak in their comeback series win against the Detroit Red Wings in round two to take the first two in this sports betting series. Chicago has done an excellent job of matching the Kings’ physicality, and their speed has been the difference to this point. The Blackhawks scored three of their four goals in game two on rushes off turnovers, and the fourth was an own-goal by Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr. Chicago may have also found a weakness in Quick, as they scored twice on low short side drives that found a way under the blocker and over the pad.

NHL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Kings

There is no doubt that Quick will come back with a stronger resolve after being pulled for the first time in the postseason, and the Kings will also have the advantage of the second change, which will allow them to match lines. Los Angeles will need to do a better job of controlling the puck in the neutral zone and getting pucks in deep, which will both prevent turnovers in the neutral zone and allow them to get their forecheck going. There is a good chance that the Kings will be without their top scorer in Mike Richards, who missed game two with what the team has termed an, “upper-body injury”. His replacement Tyler Toffoli scored in game two, but it is still a huge loss in terms of experience and all-around play.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Los Angeles has struggled to score goals in these playoffs and it has finally caught up to them in this series, so they must respond with a better effort in game three. The Kings will lay it all on the line with their backs against the wall facing an 0-2 series deficit, and if they can avoid the turnovers that cost them in game two they should be in position to bounce back with their first win of the series.

NHL Betting Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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