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NHL Betting Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings- May 30th, 2014

The Chicago Blackhawks kept their NHL Stanley Cup dreams alive in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, but just barely. It took two overtimes before the Blackhawks were able to net a game winner against the Los Angeles Kings, and now they find themselves down 3-2 and heading back to Los Angeles to attempt to force a Game 7 in this huge series. It won’t be easy though, as we know how good the Kings have been at times this season, but the Blackhawks just snapped a three game losing streak with this win. The Blackhawks are attempting to win back to back Stanley Cup Finals, but need this game on Friday night. The puck drops at 9:00pm EST.

The real issue for Chicago here is how they’ve struggled when they’re away from home. They’ve managed to get just two wins in eight road games this postseason, and they’ve lost both games that they’ve played in Los Angeles as well. While the Kings know that neither of those games matter now, the Blackhawks are going to be all-in and focused on getting the job done. They’ve turned the corner lately as Patrick Kane, who had just one point in the first four games, has paired up with Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad to combine for nine points in Game 5 alone.

The Kings don’t want this series to go back to Chicago, because playing in a Game 7 against the defending Stanley Cup Champions on the road is just asking for a disaster. It’ll be incredibly tough, but playing in front of their home crowd is massive, and I believe the home ice advantage that they’ll have in Game 6 will play a big role. We’ve also seen a strong postseason from Anze Kopitar, who has 23 points so far, and he’s managed to get at least one point in 16 of the 19 playoff games they’ve played.

Power Plays

This very well may end up being the difference in this game. The Blackhawks have managed just one power play goal on the road through 24 chances in the playoffs this year. That’s a massively disappointing stat, and if the Blackhawks can’t take advantage of these opportunities, then I think the Kings grab this win, and the series.

Consensus

Massive game, and the Kings are -133 betting favorites, which is about what I expected to see. They can’t allow Game 7 to happen in Chicago if they want to keep the obvious edge they have, and I believe they take advantage of that home ice with a big Game 6 win, and they head to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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