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NHL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks- May 21st, 2014

The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks have started off their 2014 Western Conference Finals match-up, and Game 1 was a great one that featured the Blackhawks walking away with a 3-1 victory, and looking great defensively in doing so. It was an interesting game, and the team was led by goalie Corey Crawford, who made 25 spots and gave up just the one goal. Game 2 is set to get underway on Wednesday night though, and the Blackhawks are big betting favorites as they look to extend their home ice advantage and go up to 2-0 in the series. The puck drops at 8:00pm EST on Wednesday night.

The Kings actually outshot and outhit the Blackhawks in Game 1, as they got 26 shots on goal and 34 hits. Crawford just proved to be a major issue for the Kings in Game 1 though, and that may be a trend that we see continue unless the Kings can come up with an answer in Game 2. The lone goal in the first game came from Tyler Toffoli, and it actually evened up the game in the second period before the Blackhawks ran away with it.

The Blackhawks on the other side were led by those huge saves from Crawford, as well as goals from Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews. Home ice has been huge for the Blackhawks in this postseason, as the team has yet to lose in seven games. This makes them a scary match-up for anyone in the postseason, and while Chicago had only 20 shots on goal, they still managed to net three and leave themselves with a 1-0 lead.

Beating Crawford

The Kings are a solid all-around team, but Corey Crawford is just on a role right now. He’s allowed just one goal in each of the past three games, and the teams are going to have to find a way to beat him if they want to knock off the Blackhawks. Throughout this postseason, Crawford leads the NHL with a 1.90 goals-against average, and he has a very beautiful .933 save percentage. If the Kings want Game 2, they need to come up with a plan.

Consensus

The Blackhawks are big betting favorites in this game at -150, and that’s largely due to the combination of home ice and Crawford in net. I just think that the Blackhawks are too good to give up their home ice advantage right now, and I think they win this game and head to Los Angeles up 2-0.

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