The Los Angeles Kings will look to take a 2-0 lead tonight, Monday April 30th, as they visit the St. Louis Blues for Game 2 of the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final set. The Kings are a perfect 4-0 on the road in these playoffs. NHL oddsmakers have installed the Blues as -150 moneyline home favorites over the Kings (+140) with the over/under set at 4.5 goals. Be sure to check the Los Angeles Kings vs St.Louis Blues Game 2 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.
LA (5-1, 4-0 V) posted a 3-1 victory over the second-seeded Blues in Game 1. Dustin Penner posted a goal and an assist on Saturday for the Kings, while Matt Greene and Slava Voynov each tallied a goal. Goalie Jonathan Quick stole yet another game for the Kings, as the Vezina Trophy candidate stopped 28-of-29 shots. After turning in a 1.95 goals-against average over 69 games in the regular season, Quick has been even better in the playoffs, compiling a 5-1 record to go with a 1.49 GAA and .955 save percentage.
Russian-born defenseman Slava Voynov’s speed and ability to move the puck quickly have had a noticeable impact on the Kings since he was recalled from the American Hockey League on Feb. 24. In three stints over 54 games, he had eight goals and 20 points and a +12 defensive rating, tying for the league lead in goals and plus/minus rating among rookie defensemen. Voynov, +3 defensively while averaging 18 minutes and 38 seconds’ ice time per game, enjoys the intensity of the playoffs. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s so much different hockey,” he said. “It’s quick. More physical. I like it.” But he said the Kings will have to play better on Monday than they did on Saturday, when the Blues carried the play through the first period and into the second.
St.Louis (4-2, 2-2 H) did solve Jonathan Quick early in Game 1, as David Backes staked St. Louis to a 1-0 lead 9:16 into the first period. However, LA’s star backstop settled into the game and turned aside 18 shots over the final 40 minutes to record the victory. Blues goalie Brian Elliott stopped 26 shots in the loss for the Blues, who are coming off their first playoff series victory since 2002. Elliott is 3-1 in these playoffs with a 1.51 GAA.
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo did not skate Sunday, after he was smashed face-first into the end boards by Dwight King. His availability is uncertain for Game 2 tonight. If he does not play, the impact on the Blues would be like the Kings’ losing the dynamic presence of defenseman Drew Doughty. It could drastically change the complexion of the series.
Doughty and Pietrangelo went second and fourth, respectively, in the NHL entry draft in 2008. They both lead their teams in a hugely important category: minutes played per game. In the regular season, Pietrangelo’s playing time per game was 24 minutes and 43 seconds, leading the Blues by a wide margin. Next were defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (21:36) and Barret Jackman (20:40), the only two in excess of 20 minutes. The Kings, in contrast, had six players averaging 20-plus minutes per game, led by Doughty’s 24:53. Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock said he would put defenseman Ian Cole in the lineup if Pietrangelo were unable to play.
The Bottom Line: The Kings will be facing a tougher Blues team tonight, but I think Quick can keep the Kings winning. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NHL Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NHL Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Under is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings in St. Louis.
Under is 7-0-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Kings are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Kings are 6-14 in the last 20 meetings in St. Louis.
Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 road games.
Kings are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Central.
Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 games as an underdog of +110 to +150.
Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
Blues are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
Blues are 6-1 in their last 7 Monday games.
Blues are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
Blues are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
Blues are 1-5 in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games.
Los Angeles Kings vs St.Louis Blues
When: Monday, April 30th@9:00 PM EST
Pick: Blues -150
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Los Angeles Kings vs St.Louis Blues 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.