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Kings Blackhawks Betting – Blackhawks Host Kings With Crucial Points Up For Grabs In West

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/7/2012 2:58:22 PM
kings blackhawks betting

The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t happy with their position in the NHL Western conference heading in to the final month of the regular season. The Los Angeles Kings wouldn’t mind swapping places one bit. Chicago will host the Kings in a crucial matchup this Sunday, leading Los Angeles by five points from seventh place in the standings. Both teams will need a strong finish just to make the postseason, as a long sports betting season continues to wind down in the windy city.

Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks
Sunday March 11, 2012 – 7:00 PM ET
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
NHL Sportsbook Line: Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have overcome inconsistent play between the pipes to maintain a spot in the elite eight with a dynamic offense that includes Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has had no such trouble in goal with Jonathan Quick ranked in the top-five in both GAA and save percentage, but have scored just 147 goals compared to Chicago’s 203 overall.

NHL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Kings

The Kings rank 29th in goals per game with an average of just 2.1, but have been able to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot with the third-best goals against average at just 2.0. The addition of Jeff Carter from Columbus hasn’t led to instant offense from the team’s second line, however the top line has been more productive with more room for Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Los Angeles will continue to play responsible hockey at its own end and create scoring chances in transition, but it would really help if their 22nd-ranked powerplay showed some life down the stretch.

NHL Betting Preview: Chicago Blackhawks

The irony in the Kings’ powerplay struggles is that they are actually only one spot worse than 21st-ranked Chicago overall, which illustrates just how great the disparity is between the two teams in terms of scoring five-on-five. The test now for the Blackhawks is whether or not they can continue to produce without their captain Toews in the lineup, as he is doubtful for this Sunday’s contest. Kane has moved over to the center spot in Toews’ absence and the offensive numbers haven’t been very good, but with just two goals against combined through consecutive wins, at least Chicago is playing better in its own end.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Despite currently being ahead of the Kings in the standings, Chicago is still struggling to find an identity bouncing back and forth between Corey Crawford and Ray Emery in goal, and the scoring has slowed without Toews available. Los Angeles is playing desperate hockey as they fight to stay in contention, and this could be the game that the Carter and Mike Richards tandem finally gets going after taking some time to get reacquainted after the two played together with the Philadelphia Flyers last sports bet season.

NHL Betting Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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