Devils vs. Kings
The Los Angeles Kings have suddenly lost two straight Games in the playoffs for the first time heading into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday against the New Jersey Devils. The Kings (-170, O/U 4.5) will be back at home after suffering their first road loss of the postseason and will be hosting a New Jersey team that improved to a remarkable 10-1 in Game 4-7 of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday.
Los Angeles is 5-3 at home in the postseason and will try to avoid blowing a 3-0 lead along with a trip to the Prudential Center for a deciding Game 7 against the Devils on Wednesday. The Kings have scored just two goals in the last two Games since a 4-0 win in Game 3 one week ago and will need to do a much better job of getting the puck past future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur in goal. Brodeur has been sensational the past two Games, especially Saturday when he stopped 25 of 26 shots.
LA goalie Jonathan Quick strayed from the net on New Jersey’s first goal in Game 4 and simply cannot afford to make any more careless mistakes if his team is going to win its first-ever Stanley Cup. Quick still stopped 17 of 19 shots and has been just as good as Brodeur throughout the series, with both of them among the favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the playoff MVP.
The Kings have been offensively challenged lately and must do a better job of beating Brodeur, as leading scorer Anze Kopitar has just one point in the last two Games, an assist in a 3-1 loss in Game 4. Kopitar scored the Game-winner in overtime of Game 1 and had a goal and an assist in Game 3. He and his teammates will need to find a way to get on the scoreboard first since that has been such a huge indicator of who has won Stanley Cup Games dating back to 2010.
The team that scores first has won every Game of this series so far and 17 in a row in the Stanley Cup Finals. LA also does not want to follow the Detroit Red Wings as the only team in NHL history to be extended to a Game 7 after taking a 3-0 lead. The Red Wings ended up losing Game 7 in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are one of just three teams to ever come back from such a deficit in hockey and the only one in the league championship series.