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Kings Look To Carry Over Regular Season Success Versus Blues

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/29/2013 7:32:29 PM

The Los Angeles Kings will defend their crown in 2013. They should be comfortable against the opponent they are matched up with in the Western Conference quarterfinals. The fourth-seeded Blues will take on a fifth-seeded Kings’ team that they dominated during the regular season, and while they are starting on the road they couldn’t have asked for a more favorable match up. Los Angeles scored four goals or more in each of their three wins to sweep the season series versus St. Louis, and will look to carry over that online sports betting success to the playoffs.

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

A single point was the difference between the Blues getting home ice advantage in this series, but it won’t matter as long as the Kings continue to play them the way they did throughout the year. Los Angeles was much more consistent at the offensive end of the ice during the regular season than they were a year ago, and they had their way in a four-game sweep of St. Louis when these teams met in last year’s playoffs. With seven-straight wins in the series dating back to that postseason meeting it is safe to say that the Kings have the advantage when it comes to confidence heading in to this online sportsbook series, but that isn’t the only area where they have the edge.

Los Angeles finished 10th in scoring during the regular season, with Jeff Carter’s team-leading 26 goals setting the tone for a much more balanced offense during the lockout-shortened online betting season. The Kings were able play solid two-way hockey with all four lines, and score goals without compromising their play at the defensive end of the ice where they ranked seventh in the league in goals per game allowed. Los Angeles’ 10th-ranked power play was matched by its 10th-ranked penalty kill, and that balance on special teams will be important in the playoffs.

The Blues don’t have the offensive firepower to challenge the Kings if they struggle defensively, as they ranked just 17th with an average of 2.6 goals per game. Jay Boumeester and Jordan Leopold were brought in by St. Louis to help bolster the defense and make it easier to keep the Kings’ bigger forwards in check, but neither player has a lot of playoff experience and it may not be enough. Net minder Brian Elliott was a lot better over the final month of the regular season than he was earlier in the year, but he will need to step up his play even more in order to give the Blues a legitimate chance. Even then, St. Louis will struggle to do anything more than snap its winless drought against Los Angeles, so look for the Kings to make quick work of them and advance to the second round.

NHL Betting Pick: Kings in Five

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