What served as the St. Louis Blues‘ strength for most of the season has now become one of their biggest concerns as they look to avoid going down 3-0 in their Western Conference series with the host Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. The goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott is showing major cracks, with Halak out for the remainder of the series with an ankle injury and Elliott getting torched for eight goals in the first two games of the best-of-seven.
Blues Kings Betting
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 3, 2012
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCS, TSN
Opening Line: Los Angeles Kings Money line: -125 Spread: -1.5 (+240) Total: 4.5 CLICK HERE to bet on the NHL Playoffs at BOVADA
St. Louis Blues: St. Louis completely fell apart in the first period of Game 2, allowing the Kings to build a four-goal cushion that essentially allowed them to coast through the final 40 minutes. The absence of cornerstone defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (lower body) played a major role, and his status for Game 3 remains up in the air. Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock compared Pietrangelo’s impact to that of the Kings’ top blue liner. “(It’s) not a lot different if (the Kings) lost (Drew) Doughty … same thing,” he said. “But I think with a full two days off, hopefully (Pietrangelo) is good to go (Thursday).
Los Angeles Kings: Los Angeles has yet to score a power-play goal in the series, but the team’s penalty-killing unit has more than made up for the dry spell. The Kings haven’t allowed a man-advantage goal through the first two games, and has struck for four shorthanded goals in seven postseason contests – including a highlight-reel goal by Anze Kopitar in the first period of Game 2. So what is the team’s secret to shorthanded success? “It helps when you have pairs that (kill penalties) together,” said captain Dustin Brown. “Me and (Kopitar) have PK’d together for four, five years.”
1. The Kings’ four-goal opening frame Tuesday marked its most productive period in the playoffs since its run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993.
2. Brown has four shorthanded points in the postseason, the most by any player since Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg had five in 2008.
3. Blues F Jason Arnott (lower body) missed practice Wednesday and is considered day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Kings 3, Blues 1. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$