The Los Angeles Kings look to forge a two-game lead as they visit the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, Tuesday May 15th, for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Kings beat the Coyotes 4-2 in Game 1 on Sunday. NHL oddsmakers have installed the Kings as -115 moneyline road favorites over the Coyotes (+105) with the over/under set at 4.5 goals. Be sure to check the Los Angeles Kings vs Phoenix Coyotes Western Conference Finals Game 2 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.
LA’s (9-1, 6-0 V) Dwight King scored twice, while Anze Kopitar added a goal in the Game 1 victory. Jonathan Quick rebounded nicely after allowing a brutal goal from center-ice in the first period. Kings captain Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to allow Los Angeles to hold on for the 1-0 series lead.
What’s new about this matchup is the physicality. It’s not so much the act of hitting, but the Kings have the size to make every interaction on the ice a punishing affair. “They just play hard,” Korpikoski said. “It’s not that many big hitters in their lineup when you break it down. It’s just a hard overall game.” Surviving that intensity rather than crumbling under it could be a turning point in the series for the Coyotes. “They have big bodies out there. I think our speed can be a factor,” winger Radim Vrbata said. “…Whether they’re bigger or stronger, we maybe have to be quicker and smarter.”
This matchup marks the first time the Kings and Coyotes are meeting in the postseason, but the Pacific rivals did face each other six times during the 2011-12 campaign. The Kings and Coyotes split the season series and three of the meetings went past regulation.
Phoenix (8-4, 4-3 H) was thoroughly outplayed in Game 1, surrendering 47 shots in a continuation of a disturbing post-season trend. The game could have been a blowout if not for another stout performance by Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, who stopped 44-of-47 shots. Mikkel Boedker also scored for the Coyotes, who find themselves trailing in a series for the first time in this postseason.
The Coyotes felt they were outwilled during their first appearance in the Western Conference finals. The tactical advantages are expected, but the absence of that willingness to compete was surprising, especially considering how rare a conference finals berth can be. “Everyone has to look in the mirror,” goalie Mike Smith said. “We’re here for a reason. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Nothing’s going to come easy now. It’s going to get harder and harder as the playoffs go on, and we’ve addressed that.”
The Bottom Line: The Kings haven’t lost on the road and I don’t think they’ll start now. 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:
Over is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings in Phoenix.
Kings are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Kings are 10-24-2 in the last 36 meetings in Phoenix.
Kings are 6-0 in their last 6 road games.
Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 playoff games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
Kings are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
Kings are 5-0 in their last 5 games following a win.
Coyotes are 9-1 in their last 10 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Coyotes are 6-1 in their last 7 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Coyotes are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Coyotes are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
Los Angeles Kings vs Phoenix Coyotes
When: Tuesday, May 15th@9:00 PM EST
Pick: Kings -115
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Los Angeles Kings vs Phoenix Coyotes 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.