The New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings have flown back across the country for the third time in six days, and they are going to be fighting it out with each other on the Stanley Cup betting lines in Game 6 on Monday night. There is a tremendous amount of history that both of these teams are going to be searching for in this fixture, and we know that one way or the other, we are going to see something that we have never seen before in the history of hockey.
The Kings have already certainly made their share of history. They won their first 10 games on the road in the playoffs, something that no team had ever done before. They also had never swept a series before this year, and they had never even been up 3-0 in a playoff series. Now, they can say that they have had the chance to sweep four times, and they even got the job done once.
Now though, matters are starting to get tough for the first time. Los Angeles has lost back to back games for the first time here in the playoffs. The two defeats marks the first time that the Kings have lost back to back games in regulation since March, and if they lose this one, it will be the first time that they have lost consecutive games here at the Staples Center since February.
The offense has just totally lost its way in these last two games. Sure, we know that, save for Game 3 when they were simply dominating, the Kings haven’t exactly been juggernauts in this series. That being said, they always found ways to scratch out the goals that they really needed to score. Now though, there has been just one goal in each of the last two games, and men like Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have suddenly gone MIA.
Flip the script now to the Devils, who would become the first team in Stanley Cup Finals history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 in the series if they were to pull off the upset in Tinseltown to send the series to a decisive game at the Prudential Center. Just two games ago, it looked like New Jersey that was the total wreck offensively, scoring just two goals combined in the first three games of the series. Ilya Kovalchuk had done nothing over the course of the series, and he certainly wasn’t the only man that was totally out of the loop.
But now over the course of these last two games, as New Jersey has five goals to show for its work, it is clear the stars are shining once again. Kovalchuk looks a lot better now, and he has an empty net goal to show for his perseverance, while Patrik Elias and Zach Parise have both contributed big time goals that have helped to flip this series.
Once a 20 to 1 underdog in the series, the Devils are down to just +325 on the Stanley Cup betting lines. LA is at -400 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
In Game 6, the Kings are the decided -170 favorites. The ‘total’, which has been low for this whole series, sits at 4.5 over -105.