The Los Angeles Kings will look to go up two games to none this Monday night when they square off against the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals matchup at the Scottrade Center. The game is set to start at 6 p.m. (PT) and will be broadcast nationally on CNBC.
Series Overview- Los Angeles
Los Angeles continues to be giant-slayers in the postseason with a 5-1 record as a prohibitive series underdog. It got off to a strong start in this series with a 3-1 victory in Game 1 as a 142 road underdog to mirror a 4-2 victory over Vancouver in Game 1 of that series as a 142 road dog as well. The Kings only managed to score a total of four goals in their last three games against the Canucks but bounced back with three against the Blues, including Matte Greene’s tally late in the second period, which proved to be the game winner. Dustin Brown was credited with an assist on that goal to raise his team-high point total in the playoffs to six (4 goals, 2 assists).
The big reason for the Kings success in Game 1 was the continued high level of play from goalie Jonathan Quick. He stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced on Saturday and has now given up just five goals in his last four games. Overall in the playoffs, Quick has a goals-against-average of 1.49 and a save percentage of .955.
Series Overview-St. Louis
St. Louis cannot be happy about its effort in Game 1 but it is probably not too concerned, considering it lost the first game of its series against San Jose 3-2 in overtime as a 157 home favorite before reeling-off four straight wins to send the Sharks packing in five games.
In order to avoid a 0-2 hole in this series, look for both Andy McDonald and Patrik Berglund to step things up on Monday night. They were each held without a point in Game 1 but combined for 15 points in the series against the Sharks. Brian Elliott will once again get the start in goal for the injured Jaroslav Halak. While he has been spectacular in six playoff games with a 1.51 GAA and a save percentage of .944, he might be feeling the pressure a bit, considering he made a total of only six starts in the regular season.
The Kings are 13-4 in their last 17 games after giving-up no more than two goals in their previous game and 4-1 in their last five games as underdogs. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games in the conference semifinals.
The Blues are now 1-5 in their last six conference semifinal games, but 37-16 in their last 53 home games. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last six games in the playoffs as favorites.
Head-to-head, Los Angeles is 4-1 in the last five meetings overall but just 6-14 in its last 20 games in St. Louis. With the total staying UNDER in Game 1, it has now stayed UNDER in seven of the last eight meetings.
The Kings have all the momentum coming into Game 2, but look for St. Louis to provide a friendly reminder that it is still a 165-favorite to win this series with a win on Monday night.
The free NHL pick: St. Louis 4 Los Angeles 2