The best-of-seven Stanley Cup final showdown gets underway this Wednesday night at the Staples Center, and the Los Angeles Kings opened as -155 Bodog favorites at home for Game 1 and as -170 favorites on the Stanley Cup odds to win the title this spring.
Los Angeles has gone the distance in its first three series, and to say it was in dramatic fashion would be an understatement. It needed four straight victories to get past San Jose in the opening round, it needed to rally with back-to-back wins over Anaheim after going down 3-2, and after building a commanding 3-1 series lead over Chicago in the Western Conference final the Kings had to squeeze out a 5-4 overtime win in Game 7 as +123 underdogs on the road on the Bodog closing NHL odds.
Jonathan Quick has not looked his best in goal with a 2.86 goals-against average through 21 games, but he has come up with big saves time and time again. Fortunately, the Kings have been a scoring machine with Marian Gaborik leading the way with 12 goals. The total has gone OVER in their last six playoff games after scoring three or more goals in all six contests.
The Rangers had to grind their way past Philadelphia in the opening round with a Game 7 win and they needed a pair of victories over Pittsburgh in the final two games of their second-round series to win that set in seven. Against Montreal in the Eastern Conference final New York jumped out to a 2-0 series lead on the road and closed things out in six games. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH on the NHL odds in six of their last eight playoff games against a total line of five for every game.
Led by Martin St. Louis (six goals and seven assists), the Rangers have been effective at putting the puck in the back of the net throughout all three of their previous series. They may not have the overall firepower that Los Angeles brings to the table, but they do have a goalie that knows how to stand on his head to get his team a win. Henrik Lundqvist boasts a 2.03 GAA though 20 postseason starts and he has a save percentage of .928.