No. 3 Los Angeles Kings (3-3) vs. No. 2 Edmonton Oilers (3-3)
It’s the most dramatic game in all professional sports, a Game 7. That will be the case when the Los Angeles Kings take on the Edmonton Oilers with the winner advancing and the loser going home. Edmonton forced the deciding game with a 4-2 victory in Los Angeles on Thursday, and now the road team has won four of the six games in the series.
Edmonton enters as the favorite at -220 with Los Angeles at +180. When giving up 1.5 goals, the odds for the Oilers change to +120 while the Kings are at -140 when receiving 1.5 goals. The total is at 6.5 (over: +100, under: -120).
Kings Rally ThwartedLos Angeles found themselves trailing by a pair of goals at 1:50 in the second period, but rallied to tie the score with two unanswered goals. However, Edmonton scored the game-winner with a little over five minutes left in the contest and added an insurance goal to earn the 4-2 victory. Carl Grundstrom scored his third goal of the playoffs and is tied for fourth on the team with four total points.
Los Angeles is averaging 2.83 goals per game during the series, right about where they were at during the regular season (2.86). What is impressive is that only four teams have averaged fewer goals per game during the playoffs, and one of those four is going to be knocked out when the Calgary-Dallas series is decided. Adrian Kempe leads the team with six points.
The reason that the Kings are still in the series has been the play of goaltender Jonathan Quick. He has a 3.66 GAA and a .893 save percentage, but also has a shutout and, more importantly, has three victories. He has made a number of big saves when his team needed him most, and the team will be leaning on the veteran for this decisive contest.
Kane Leads Oilers, Forces Game 7All the hype was about Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl entering the series, but Evander Kane has been the story. The Oilers forward had two goals in the contest, and now leads the team with seven goals and is second with nine points.
Edmonton is doing what got them here, scoring goals. The team is third among playoff contenders in goals per game (4.17) after finishing the regular season seventh in goals per game (3.52). The power-play was spectacular during the regular season, third overall (26.0%) and they have continued in the playoffs, stepping it up a notch, connecting on 38.9% of their power-play opportunities. McDavid is having a great playoff series, recording three goals in nine assists and has 12 points to lead the club.
After a shaky performance in the loss on Tuesday, Mike Smith rebounded with a solid performance in Game 6, stopping 30 of 32 shots. He has looked very good over his last five outings, holding Los Angeles to two goals or fewer in three of those games and has allowed 12 total goals over his last five starts. Smith has a 2.67 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The penalty killing has looked very good in the series, killing off 87.5% of situations where they are shorthanded.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is what the regular season is all about. It is about having that home-ice advantage so that if you are faced with playing a Game 7, it is on your home ice. Smith does not have a great record at home during his career, going 7-12-0, including 1-5 in his six games with the Oilers. However, he does have a 2.65 GAA and a .925 save percentage, so no one can put the responsibility solely on his shoulders.
Excluding Game 4, Edmonton has not had a lot of trouble figuring out Quick. They have scored 25 goals in the other five contests of this series, but simply need their goaltender to hold the Kings to three goals or fewer in this game. Should they do that, they are going to be advancing.
Full-Game Total Pick
This series has followed a pattern. The odd-numbered games have gone over 6.5, the even-numbered games have gone under. Should that pattern continue for Game 7? It would be surprising if it did not. Edmonton realizes that they have opportunities to put the puck in the net, and are going to be ramping up offensively looking to put the dagger through the heart of the Kings early.
Should Edmonton jump out to a two-goal lead, Los Angeles is going to be forced to take a lot of chances to get back into the contest, and that will give Edmonton even more opportunities to score.
Take Edmonton to win, 5-3.