Stanley Cup Pick: New York Rangers vs Los Angeles Kings Game 1
- Updated: June 4, 2014
Date/Time: June 4th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
NHL Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Moneyline: Los Angeles -145
The Stanley Cup Finals will begin on Wednesday night in NHL betting action when the New York Rangers travel to face the Los Angeles Kings on NBC Sports Network at 8:00 p.m. ET on the ice inside the Staples Center. Both of these teams reached this point as serious ‘underdogs’ to do so as the Kings entered the playoffs with 12/1 odds to win it all and the Rangers were going off at 20/1 in most outlets.
The Rangers have clawed and scratched their way to enter the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since winning the whole thing in 1994 when Mark Messier was the captain. They got a very fortunate break when the Montreal Canadiens lost their G Carey Price in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and were able to handle that series in six games. In that series New York’s offensive unit managed to score 20 goals (3.33 per game) and its power play unit came to life after struggling to start the postseason. There’s no doubt that Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist is the biggest reason why they have gotten to this point. Lundqvist has been outstanding with a 2.03 GAA and a .928 save percentage in the playoffs. New York had to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins along the way as those upsets allowed it to gain momentum that carried over into defeating Montreal. New York LW Carl Hagelin has led this offense with six goals and four assists in 20 games. If the Rangers can put it all together in this series they could erase 20 years of bad postseason memories for one of the league’s biggest markets.
The Kings knocked out the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in seven games becoming the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive Game 7’s on the road to reach the finals. Alec Martinez scored in overtime to make sure his team reserved their spot in the finals and now they will have home ice advantage for the first time this postseason. Los Angeles traveled a hard road in its own right as it had to beat the San Jose Sharks and then the Anaheim Ducks before the match-up with Chicago in the conference final. Kings G Jonathan Quick has not been stellar in these playoffs, but he saved the season in the final seconds on Sunday night as he stoned a last second shot just before overtime. Quick’s numbers are nowhere near that of his counterpart as he has a 2.86 GAA and a .906 save percentage as he has faced the league’s top three offensive units to get here. Los Angeles owns the highest scoring offense in the playoffs putting up 3.48 goals per game and it has four of the league’s five top point scorers on its roster.
The Kings should really be heavier ‘favorites’ than they are to win this opening game as three days of rest should have done them a lot of good in preparing for this series. Lundqvist better be ready as he will be facing his toughest challenge to date with this Los Angeles group that is 12-9 ATS in the playoffs. Don’t be surprised if the Kings fall behind early and rally back as they have the entire postseason. We like them to get the win no matter how it comes as they seem to be a team of destiny as they’re trying to win their second Stanley Cup in three years. New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings Pick: Los Angeles Kings