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NHL Western Conference playoff betting preview: L.A. Kings v San Jose Sharks

Posted by Ari Louis on 4/30/2014 5:12:31 AM

Game 7: Los Angeles Kings (+124) v the San Jose Sharks (-137)

The Los Angeles Kings are (+1.5) going into Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks (-1.5).
The Kings will try to be the fourth team in NHL history to comeback from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series. The NHL playoffs is about riding the hot goalie to the Stanley Cup title. The Kings of 2012 were able to do that with Jonathan Quick. However, in the start of this series, the Kings' goalie appeared to be an imposter. He wore the same jersey as Quick and looked just like him.
But whoever was playing goalie for L.A. allowed 17 goals in three games. Shockingly, the Kings lost all three games and faced a 0-3 deficit in their first round series with the San Jose Sharks. In the knick on time, the real Jonathan Quick has returned in the last three games. He has only allowed four goals in the last three Kings' wins, including a Game 5 shutout.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter may have been tempted to make a goalie change after seeing what happened in the first three games. However, having faith that the N.H.L.'s best goalie would come back to form has paid dividends. L.A. had the best defense in the regular season this year, only giving up two goals a game on average.

This is the third time in four years the L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks have played against each other in a playoff series. In 2011, the Sharks beat the Kings in six games which featured three overtime games.
Last year, Los Angeles won an epic seven game battle, in which home teams won all seven games. San Jose, knowing how important home ice can be, specifically made moves in the off season to play the Kings this year.
The Sharks signed 14 players in the off-season and during the regular season to gives the Sharks a faster lineup. Those signings included resigning five players. Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Micro Mueller, Patrick Marleau and most importantly, captain Joe Thornton.
Those moves got San Jose 111 points in the regular season, compared to only 100 points for L.A. With all that said, Los Angeles has the advantage going into Game 7.

Although L.A. will be on the road, San Jose is reeling right now. Sharks' head coach Todd McLellan has already had to switch goal tenders from Antti Niemi to Alex Stalock. The move however did not fix the problem. The non-traditional move was seen as one of desperation. The Sharks had not switched goal tenders in the playoffs since the 2001 post-season. The problem is the goal tender for the other team. Jonathan Quick is back on track and will be huge for the Kings in Game 7.
Look for Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar to provide just enough offense for the Kings to make history. It is also worth noting, that the last time a team came back from 0-3 to win a playoff series, was the Philadelphia Flyers against the Boston Bruins in 2010. That Flyers team featured Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Both Carter and Richards currently play for the Kings.

* 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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