The Chicago Blackhawks look to keep their perfect home record on the line tonight, Wednesday May 20th, while trying to take a 2-0 lead over the LA Kings in the best-of-seven series. The Blackhawks beat the Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference final. Sportsbook Carbonsport have the home ice Blackhawks as -150 moneyline favorites over the Kings (+140) with the total listed at 5 goals. Take a look at the LA vs Chicago preview and be sure to check out the full list of NHL Odds.
The Kings (8-7, 5-4 V) got a second-period score from Tyler Toffoli and outshot the Blackhawks 26-20 in the opener of a rematch from last year’s Western Conference final. Goalie Jonathan Quick made 17 saves. If the Kings want to advance they have to fight and jockey for position in front of the net, like the Blackhawks excel at.
“I think we can do a better of getting in front of the net and make it harder on their goalie because we had some pretty good shots, but nobody was hanging around, so he was able to see everything,” Kings centre Anze Kopitar said.
The Blackhawks made a habit of going to the net hard, taking away Quick’s space and line of sight. On almost every offensive possession, there was a Blackhawks forward and a Kings defenseman jousting for position on the lip of the crease. Quick was forced to bob and weave around the obstructions, looking to pick up the puck.
The Blackhawks (9-4, 7-0 H) goalie Corey Crawford made 25 saves, Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, Duncan Keith had a tiebreaking score in the third period and Jonathan Toews closed it out in the third. The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago remained perfect in seven home playoff games this year. Chicago killed off two power-play chances and is 44 for 48 on the kill in the playoffs
Crawford is on quite a roll right now, allowing only one goal in each of the past three games. The 29-year-old Crawford leads the NHL with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in the playoffs.
Niklas Hjalmarsson’s willingness to sacrifice his body to block shots really stands out, especially in the playoffs. Hjalmarsson leads the NHL in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 42 blocked shots. It seems like he skates to the bench at least once a game shaking off some kind of pain after blocking a shot, but he just sees it as part of his job requirement.
Recent Betting Trends to Consider:
Home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Under is 4-1-1 in Blackhawks last 6 overall.
Under is 4-1 in Blackhawks last 5 vs. Pacific.
Blackhawks are 9-1 in their last 10 Conference Finals games.
Blackhawks are 7-1 in their last 8 games following a win.
Kings are 1-5 in their last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Kings are 1-5 in their last 6 Conference Finals games.
Kings are 1-7 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Los Angeles at Chicago
When: Wednesday May 20@8:00 PM ET
Pick: Blackhawks -150
The Bottom Line: the Kings have to be at their best tonight, but I think the Blackhawks are the better teams, especially at home. We recommend you sign up with Carbonsports to receive a 10% sign up bonus heading into the Los Angeles vs Chicago matchup.