Date/Time: June 6th, 9:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Kings -120
The home team has won all three series on the NHL betting lines here in the Western Conference Finals, and on Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be doing battle with one another in the pivotal Game 4 of this series.
The Blackhawks knew that they had a chance to really put this series in the bag on Tuesday night, but they faltered just a bit and ended up dropping 3-1. It’s not the end of the world, knowing that this still provides the team an opportunity to get the job done, but even if this game is lost, Chicago still has the home ice advantage and just has to figure out how to win two games at the United Center to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. No one has beaten the Kings here at the Staples Center in these playoffs, and the key this time around is going to be generating some more offense. LA has played remarkable defensive hockey in this building all postseason long, and the Blackhawks have the ability to switch all of that around. They only generated 20 shots on goal in Game 3, and that isn’t going to get the job done when push comes to shove. LW Patrick Sharp, RW Marian Hossa, C Jonathan Toews, and the crew are going to need to be better and put more pressure on the LA defenders to try to win this game.
Essentially, half the job is done right now for the Kings. They know that they need to win this game to basically make this a whole new series once again, and if they can figure out how to win it, it would be the second time in these playoffs that they have erased a two-game deficit in a series. Los Angeles isn’t going to be intimidated, but we still have our concerns. The offense for the Kings seemed to be in better shape last year than it has been in this postseason. G Jonathan Quick always has and always will be great, but in the end, he is going to need at least a tad bit of help to win games. That 3-1 score line makes it look like the Kings were the dominant team from Game 3, but that just wasn’t the case. The team only had 27 shots on goal, and the third of those goals came with an empty net on the other side of the ice. C Mike Richards remains up in the air for this game after missing both Games 2 and 3 with an upper body injury. C Jeff Carter took a high stick to the face in Game 3, and he is expected to play. However, the man who caught him with that high stick, D Duncan Keith for the Blackhawks, will be suspended.
Still, it really feels like the Blackhawks have this series under control still, and there is a real opportunity to seize control of this series. We tend to think that Chicago can win this game and will do so at least half the time. Go with the Blackhawks in Game 4 to move within just one step of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Los Angeles Kings Game 4 Pick: Chicago Blackhawks +110
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.