2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 6
#6 New Jersey Devils at #8 Los Angeles Kings
Kings Lead Best of Seven Series 3-2
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Monday, June 11, 2012, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Opening Money Line: Kings -170 / Devils +150
Current M0ney Line: Kings -160 / Devils +140
Opening Total: 4 1/2 over -110 / under -110
Current Total: 4 1/2 under -115 / over -105
For two straight games the Stanley Cup has been in the building and the champagne was on ice. The Los Angeles Kings, coached by Darryl Sutter took a commanding 3-0 series lead against the New Jersey Devils, coached by Peter DeBoer, and were one win away from their first Stanley Cup in the 45 year history of the franchise. The Kings won games 1 and 2 by identical 2-1 scores in overtime in Newark, New Jersey, and won game 3 4-0 in LA.
New Jersey won game 4 3-1 to keep the Kings from celebrating a sweep in Los Angeles. Saturday night, the series returned to Newark. The Devils scored with around 8 minutes left in the first period on a Zach Parise power play goal. It was the first power play goal of the series for New Jersey. Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick misplayed the puck and left the net enabling Parise to score. The Kings tied it up early in the second on a Justin Williams goal. New Jersey took the lead for good midway through the second on a Bryce Salvador goal off a deflection. The Devils held on for the 2-1 win, thanks to the outstanding play of Martin Brodeur who made 25 saves. New Jersey became the first team since 1945 to force a game 6 in the Stanley Cup finals after going down 3-0 to start the series.It was also the first road playoff game the Kings had lost this postseason, after winning an NHL record 12 in a row dating back to last year.
The Kings outshot New Jersey 26-19 in game 5. The Kings were 0-2 on the power play and the Devils were 1 for 2. New Jersey had 34 hits and LA had 23. The Devils won the faceoffs 28-25.
Now the series returns to Los Angeles for game 6. The Kings are facing doubt for the first time this post season. They took 3-0 series leads in all four rounds of the playoffs against Vancouver, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New Jersey. They became the first team in NHL history to accomplish that feat. The Kings swept the Blues and won in 5 games against the Canucks and Coyotes. LA is trying to become the first 8 seed to win the Stanley Cup ever.
The Kings struggled to score during the regular season but seemingly fixed that problem during their magical playoff run. That is until these last two games. The legendary Brodeur has stonewalled them, but LA has to keep firing at the net. Eventually those shots will go in. The Kings have plenty of offensive weapons in Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, and Mike Richards. They also have the likely Conn Smythe and Vezina winner in Quick.
New Jersey also has reason to be confident after two straight wins. They are trying to become the first team since 1942 to come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. The Devils have plenty of offensive weapons of their own and have been getting most of the lucky bounces in the last two games.
The under is 9-1-1 in this series recently including 4-0 in Los Angeles. The underdog has won 5 of the last 7 games in this series.
The Devils are 9-1 on one day rest, 5-2 road games, as a road underdog, and in road games against teams with winning home records, 7-3 as a playoff underdog, and after scoring 2 goals or less, 20-9 overall, 13-6 after a win, 2-5 after allowing 2 goals or less, and 1-6 in Monday games.
The Kings are 7-1 on one day rest, 22-6 after allowing 2 goals or less, 12-4 as a home favorite, 9-3 as a favorite, 20-7 as a favorite, 24-9 overall, 8-3 in Monday games, 20-8 against teams with winning records, 5-2 after scoring 2 goals or less, 12-5 at home, 11-5 at home against teams with winning road records, and 0-8 as a favorite of -151 to -200, including 0-7 at home.
Both teams must treat this like a game 7. The Kings don’t want to make the cross country trip back to Newark with the Devils having won 3 straight games to force game 7. A loss for the Devils, of course means their season is over. I think the Kings win a close game say 2-1. Why not, three of the past 5 games in this series have ended with that score, and a fourth would have if not for an empty net goal.
Our Hockey handicappers are red hot during the playoffs. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until they raise the Cup either tonight or Wednesday.