Game 7: Kings v Ducks – NHL Betting Preview
Game 7: Los Angeles Kings (+102) at Anaheim Ducks (-113)
WESTERN CONFERENCE SECOND ROUND – SERIES TIED AT 3-3
Jonathan Quick returned to form, stopping 21 of 22 shots in Game 6 , as the Kings won 2-1 to avoid elimination. After giving up only three goals in the first two games of this series, Quick started to struggle. The Kings’ goalie was benched in Game 4 for giving up two early goals and gave up four goals in Game 5. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik have been carrying the Kings offensively throughout these playoffs. Although the two Kings’ leaders did not score a goal on Wednesday, they assisted on Jake Muzzin’s first period goal. The Kings’ early goal set the tone for Game 6 and now they find themselves in a position they were in the previous round. In the first round, the Kings had to win a Game 7 on the road. They got that done against the Sharks and that experience should give them a boost of confidence on Friday night. This is why the visiting Kings are only very small underdogs (+102) on the opening money line in Friday's winner take all game.
Odds makers are most likely making Anaheim the favorites due to the historical advantage of home teams in Game 7s. While home teams are 91-63 all-time in these games, it should be noted we have seen road teams win Game 7 on the road this post-season. Montreal and New York have won their seventh games on the road in the semi-finals, while Minnesota and L.A. have won on the road in the first round. If the Ducks are going to buck this trend, they will have to rely heavily on Ryan Getzlaf and Devante Smith-Pelly. Both were big in the Ducks' Game 5 win and both will have to do it again on Friday if they want to advance to the next round. This has not been a high scoring series, which means goals will be at a premium. Whichever team scores first will most likely win on Friday night.
Head to head, Kings have the better goalie. Twenty year-old John Gibson has been clutch for Anaheim. After Jonas Hiller struggled earlier in this series, Gibson was inserted in Game 4 and won two games in a row. Gibson, however, as good as he has been is still a rookie and does not have the experience of Jonathan Quick, who led the Kings to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and should lead his team to victory tonight. The opening total points over/under is five goals, +111 and -122 respectively. Considering this has been a low scoring series, the under may be the better choice.
* Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change due to time sensitivity. Please visit the sports betting lines for up to date odds.
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