The Phoenix Coyotes go in search of their first win on the NHL playoff betting lines in the Western Conference Finals in franchise history on Tuesday night when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings.
You don’t really need to look too deep into the stats in the first game of this series to tell that the Kings were the better team. Los Angeles was able to take a whopping 48 shots on goal in relation to just the 27 that the Coyotes took, and it was able to hold the Yotes down to that number of shots in spite of the fact that they had five power play opportunities on the night. Sure, Jonathan Quick gave up a bit of a cheap goal in the second period of Game 1, but in the end, he still got the job done and got picked up just a bit by his offense to get his ninth win of this postseason. Quick has now allowed two goals or fewer in six straight games, and he is averaging allowing just 1.5 goals per game in that stretch. The only game in which he allowed more than two goals was against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of the first round. Los Angeles has now won all six of its games on the road here in the playoffs, and if that type of streak even remotely continues, the Kings are going to be impossible to stop on the road to the Stanley Cup.
The Coyotes knew that this was going to be a tough series, but we’re sure that they didn’t know that it was going to be quite this tough. Of course, the Kings played just about a perfect offensive game, putting all of the pressure in the world on Mike Smith in the biggest game of his career in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. Smith really didn’t play as poorly as one would figure, knowing that he allowed three goals (the fourth was an empty netter), but he stood in the face of 47 shots and did well just to take care of those. Shots just weren’t being blocked at the rate that they were in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and it is quite questionable whether the Coyotes are going to be able to get up off of the mat even though they are only down by a single game in this series. Against a team as hot as the Kings are, that mountain looks very, very high.
The Final Word: One would have to figure that the Coyotes would be the right side in this series at some point, especially at these ridiculous NHL odds. The Kings are great, and they might be the best team in hockey at this point, but there is no way that they should be -130 favorites on the road in the playoffs against a team that is as good and as gritty as the Coyotes. Go with the Yotes to level this series going back to Tinseltown.
Los Angeles Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes Pick: Phoenix Coyotes +120
Andrew 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.