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Blackhawks Return Home One Win Away From Stanley Cup Berth

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/7/2013 8:53:19 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks are one win away from reaching their second Stanley Cup Final series in three years. There will be a sense of urgency to finish what they started on home ice. The Blackhawks will look to punch their ticket to the Final with a win in game five against the Los Angeles Kings on home ice Saturday night, and the online sports betting numbers are in their favor. The Kings haven’t won on the road since game six of their opening round series against the St. Louis Blues – a string of five-straight losses.

Western Conference Final – Game 5
Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks
Saturday June 8, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
NHL Sportsbook Line: Chicago – 150

Los Angeles was already in tough to win one game on the road in order to have any chance in this series, but now they must win three-straight including two on the road to get past Chicago. The Kings haven’t faced a three-games-to-one series deficit dating back to before last year’s Stanley Cup run, but responding to this adversity will require more than just desire.

NHL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles has played with a ton of flare in this series, but their intensity has been matched in every game to this point and their weaknesses have been exposed. The Kings don’t have the talent up front to win wide open hockey games, and it’s no coincidence that they only time they scored more than two goals in this series they actually won. Los Angeles’ struggles were beyond just scoring in game four, as they managed just two shots on net in the third period despite facing a goalie that looked shaky in Corey Crawford. Jonathan Quick has once again been the MVP of the playoffs for the Kings, but he is in tough against a talented Chicago team and hasn’t gotten the support he needs.

NHL Betting Preview: Chicago Blackhawks

Crawford has conceded a couple of shaky goals in the series, but he made 19 saves in game four and has done a decent job of taking care of what he can. The Blackhawks have played some excellent hockey in front of him, keeping everything to the outside and not allowing the Kings to crowd the net for second and third chances on rebounds. Marian Hossa is the most experienced of any player in this series, and he added another goal to his resume with the winner in game four. Chicago has the enough skill up front that it is bound to get its share of scoring chances, and they will be great shape as long as the defense continues to close things down in front of Crawford. Duncan Keith will return from his one-game suspension, but the Hawks looked fine without him in game four.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The home team had won every game in this series up until game four, when the Kings finally cracked and showed the holes in their armor. That has set the stage for Chicago to clinch the series with a win at home in game five, and while they now have three chances to get it, it’s unlikely they will want to give Los Angeles any life with the potential for a game six in Hollywood. The Blackhawks have been the better team in nearly every area so far in this online betting series, and that has allowed them to protect their one potential weakness in Crawford.

NHL Betting Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

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