New York Rangers vs. L.A. Kings Game 1 NHL Gambling Prediction & Lines

Rangers vs Kings Finals Betting?

Cup Final Kicks Off Wednesday Night – Kings Host Rangers in Game 1

The Stanley Cup Final begins in LA Wednesday night – the New York Rangers and the LA Kings have certainly earned the right to play for hockey’s Holy Grail.

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2014 Stanley Cup Finals
NY Rangers (57-38-4-3) at Los Angeles (58-35-4-6)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: CBC, NBC, RDS
Rangers vs. Kings Betting Lines
In Canada? Try Pinnacle Sportsbook
New York Rangers +1½ -225 +138 Ov 5 +109
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +195 -152 Un 5 -120
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Los Angeles will start a series at home for the first time in the playoffs but endured three cross-country trips last week in their punishing series against Chicago while the Rangers – they will begin a series away from home for the third straight time but have had nearly a week of to heal and to prepare.

So who is likely to draw first blood?

Let’s break it down.

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The New York Rangers will be the fresher of the teams heading into Game 1 – they have been off since Thursday and their last series wasn’t exactly of the bruising nature. New York’s offense has been good so far in the playoffs – they tallied 20 goals against Montreal and their best players were just that.

Rick Nash finally snapped a slump scoring three goals and registering two assists in the six-game series against Montreal and Martin St. Louis looked like the best player on the ice at times – he has six goals and seven assists so far in the postseason – quarterbacking a power play that has been very good through the first three rounds of the series.

Make no mistake about it however – Henrik Lundqvist will have to be the star for New York on Wednesday night – the Kings have been scorching hot offensively and Lundqvist is simply the Rangers best player.

He enters the series with an NHL-leading 2.03 GAA and .928 SV% in this postseason but will definitely have his hands full with LA’s stellar offense.
The Los Angeles Kings have played the maximum 21 games so far in the playoffs – their games in the postseason have been as emotional and as taxing as any team in recent memory – they look every bit a team of destiny heading into Game 1.

Los Angeles is the NHL’s top scoring team in these Playoffs, with an average of 3.48 per game – they averaged four goals per game against Chicago! LA has become a two line team – the top line of Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, and Dustin Brown has scored five goals in Los Angeles’ last four games while the Kings’ second line continues to be off the charts.

Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli produced 11 goals and 10 assists in the series against the Blackhawks and were awfully tough to stop. One fear is that four days off may have squashed any momentum this team had offensively and they may take a game or two to rediscover their incredible form.

Jonathan Quick hasn’t exactly shown the Cup winning form that we expect thus far – maybe a break from the action will do him some good!

Quick surrendered 23 goals against Chicago and posted a save percentage under .900 – not good. We’ll give him a pass after looking at the juggernaut offensive teams he was up against – the Rangers are no Sharks, no Ducks or no Blackhawks!

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• NYR are 11-3 in their last 14 Wed. games.
• NYR are 7-2 in their last 9 overall.
• Under is 11-2-3 in LA last 16 vs. Metropolitan.
• Over is 6-2-2 in LA last 10 home games.
• LA are 23-8 in their last 31 Wed. games.

Although I think the Kings will win their second Cup in three years, I do know that it often takes them a while to get going in every series – this one should be no different. Exhaustion and the fact that their backs aren’t quite against the wall yet has me leaning toward the Rangers in this one.

King Henrik will have to steal a game or two in the series for it to be close – I think Wednesday night is one of those contests.

Pick: New York Rangers +138

By DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.