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Betting Kings Coyotes - Kings, Denied Once, Try Again To Finish Off Coyotes

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/5/2014 4:37:57 AM

The 2012 NHL Playoffs have been a magic carpet ride for the Los Angeles Kings, but if they lose in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, they will begin to feel some pressure.

NHL West Finals, Game 5: Los Angeles Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes – Tuesday, May 22
Online betting line: N/A

Why Los Angeles Will Win

When you place a bet on an NHL playoff series after looking at any of several legal online sports betting sites, you don't need to scramble frantically for reasons to back up your selection. You only need to calmly assess the situation and realize that the pendulum should swing back to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles has taken a 3-0 lead in all three of its postseason series. Once, in the second round against St. Louis, the Kings swept the series, but in the first round against the Vancouver Canucks – the 2012NHL President's Trophy winners – the Kings lost Game 4 at home and needed to finish the job on the road in Game 5, which they promptly proceeded to do.

Vancouver is a better team than Phoenix, and yet the Kings were able to calmly polish off the Canucks. It only stands to reason, then, that the Kings – unbeaten on the road in the playoffs – will be able to come through in Glendale, Ariz., punching their ticket to the second Stanley Cup Finals series in franchise history, the first such instance coming in 1993. Los Angeles has established clear territorial control in this series. Phoenix has played better in the past two games, but Los Angeles is still generating the superior scoring chances and winning most of the battles for loose pucks. Phoenix is still passing the puck too often across the middle of the ice instead of playing dump-and-chase hockey or working the puck along the boards. Los Angeles is going to break through at some point; Phoenix has delayed its elimination, but the Coyotes are still unlikely to survive much longer in this series.

Why Phoenix Will Win

The Coyotes haven't decisively outplayed the Kings in any game this series, but after getting manhandled in Games 1 and 2 at home, Phoenix played Los Angeles on fairly even terms in Games 3 and 4. The Coyotes won only one of the two games played in Los Angeles, and they still conceded lots of scoring chances, but in the City of Angels, Phoenix began to create more strong chances of its own. The Coyotes increased their level of intensity, helped goalie Mike Smith see more of the puck (he had been screened a lot more in the first two games of the series), and buried chances when they got them. In Game 4, Phoenix confused Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick for the first time in the series. The Coyotes might have turned a corner.

Click here for more on the latest sportsbook odds in the NHL playoffs.

Who Will Win?

While Phoenix is definitely playing better, Los Angeles has little reason to be worried. The Kings have applied substantial pressure on the Coyotes in all four games of the series. Phoenix needs Mike Smith to steal yet another game, but after Smith's perfect performance on Sunday, the odds suggest that a few pucks will get past him in Game 5. If Los Angeles scores two goals, Phoenix will have to work really hard to keep pace. If the Kings score three goals, it's hard to see how the Coyotes will have much of a chance.

NHL Betting Pick: Los Angeles 

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