The brooms will be out at the Staples Center for the third time this postseason, as the Los Angeles Kings try to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals when they take on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Matters are getting worse with each passing game here for the Coyotes. They had 27 shots on goal in Game 1 and 24 in Game 2. Now on the road, they had just 19 shots, only one by Daymond Langkow of which made it into the back of the net. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, that goal that gave them a 1-0 lead was nullified just two minutes later, and the game was never quite the same after that. Phoenix had to kill off three penalties in the third period, and it just became absolutely impossible to try to come back from even just a one-goal deficit in the final 18 minutes of the game. Shane Doan took two more penalties, while Radim Vrbata got nailed for a big slash late in the game as well. Martin Hanzal should be back in the fold for this one after his one-game suspension, but there is a real question as to whether to truly matters or not for a team that now has eight shots on goal over the course of the last 41 minutes of hockey.
It almost seems to be a formality for the Kings at this point to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals. They need just one more win, and they are clearly playing better than any other team in the entire league. LA has an 11-1 mark here in the postseason, and this Game 3 effort was clearly one of the lesser efforts that it has put forward in this stretch. Still, the ‘W’ was a ‘W’, and it was the eighth straight game in which the Kings have proven to be victorious over a playoff foe. Jonathan Quick may as well have taken the night off after facing just 19 shots, though he did make some crucial saves when he was called upon in the first 25 minutes or so of the game. Anze Kopitar logged a goal, but Dwight King was the man of the hour. King has had a huge series, coming up with four goals in the three games in total, and Game 3 was no exception when he lit the lamp for what proved to be the game-winner. To find a problem to nitpick about with the Kings, we would have to look at the faceoff circle. They lost 34 of the 54 faceoffs that were taken over the course of the game, though quite often, that isn’t the type of stat that ends up screwing a team over like turnovers in basketball.
The Final Word: We said in Game 3 that we would have a really hard time laying -200 in a game in the playoffs even if the Kings are that hot. Though it is clear to us that the Coyotes are finished, we still aren’t laying -220. It’s still a hockey game, and these are still two teams that were on relatively level terms all year long. Will the Kings win? Probably. But do the Yotes have at least a one-in-three chance of swiping one? Absolutely.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Los Angeles Kings Game 4 Pick: Phoenix Coyotes +200
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.