NHL Playoffs Game 2 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Oilers (May 4)
Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Quick (left) and Matt Roy.
- The Kings are underdogs after taking a 1-0 series lead over the Oilers.
- Los Angeles came through late in Game 1 and could take a surprising 2-0 lead back home.
- NHL betting analyst Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and makes her betting pick below.
Kings vs. Oilers Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
We’ve got ourselves a series.
Monday night in Edmonton, the underdog Los Angeles Kings took a 1-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers, thanks to Phillip Danault’s third-period game-winner after an ugly giveaway by Oilers goalie Mike Smith.
After a strong finish to the regular season, many thought this could be the year that the Oilers make a serious Stanley Cup run. Instead, Monday’s loss was their seventh straight in the postseason over the last three years, all to lower-seeded teams.
What’s in store for Game 2 on Wednesday? Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet.
Kings Go For Surprise 2-0 Lead
The Kings are known to play a strong puck-possession game, and that shone through in the numbers on Monday night. L.A. had an expected goals rate of 56.84% at 5-on-5 even though the shots favored Edmonton 39-35.
That discrepancy came mainly from special teams, where the Oilers were 2-for-4 on the power play and the Kings were 0-for-4. If Game 1 is any indication, Connor McDavid won’t get to complain about not getting calls on penalties against him this year, and Los Angeles was poor during the regular season both while shorthanded and with the man advantage.
At age 36, Jonathan Quick probably never thought he’d be the younger starting goaltender in a playoff series, but here we are. The 2012 Stanley Cup MVP has turned back the clock this season and was strong in Game 1, finishing with 1.2 goals saved above expected.
After missing the last game of the regular season, forward Viktor Arvidsson was scratched on Monday due to an undisclosed injury. That forced Kings coach Todd McLellan to do some line-juggling, elevating Alex Iafallo in Arvidsson’s place to play alongside Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore.
Captain Anze Kopitar led all Kings players with 25:41 of ice time. But it was the re-worked second line that connected offensively. Danault, Moore and Iafallo each tallied a goal and an assist, Moore added a second helper for good measure, and Danault’s game-winner earned him first-star honors.
Arvidsson was not on the ice for the Kings’ brief practice on Tuesday, but McLellan didn’t rule him out for Game 2.
Will Edmonton Bench Smith After Key Mistakes?
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both lit the lamp on Monday night. And with a goal and an assist, Kailer Yamamoto may have played one of the best games of his career. But despite outshooting the Kings, the Oilers trailed 11-6 in high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5 through the game and the Kings turned the heat up to boil in the third period, with a 5-0 edge in that category.
Evander Kane has been excellent for the Oilers since he was acquired just before the All-Star break, with 39 points in 43 games. But he ended the regular season on a two-game pointless streak and failed to hit the scoresheet despite nine shot attempts on Monday.
Of course, the cone of shame hangs over Smith, the 40-year-old veteran who made the wrong play at the wrong time on his third-period giveaway — and should have known better.
Is it time for a change in net? On Tuesday, rookie head coach Jay Woodcroft told the media that he has decided on his Game 2 starter but won’t make his announcement until Wednesday morning.
After missing the last four games of the regular season with a lower-body injury, defenseman Darnell Nurse returned for Game 1, tallying one assist in 20:27 of ice time. The Oilers have no other injury issues of note.
Kings vs. Oilers Pick
With eight players on their roster logging their first-career Stanley Cup playoff games, the Kings couldn’t have been blamed if they looked nervous or undisciplined on Monday. And while they’d certainly like to cut down on their time in the penalty box, they played with enough poise to wait for their opponent to make mistakes, then capitalize.
Meanwhile, the Oilers are already being forced to think back on last season’s first-round sweep at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets, and their 3-1 preliminary-round loss to Chicago as hosts of the 2020 playoff bubble.
The Kings have now seized home-ice advantage in the series, but remain long shots to grab a 2-0 lead before heading back to the friendly confines of Crypto.com Arena. Their moneyline opened at +125 and has moved all the way to +165 as of Tuesday evening.
Now that the standard of officiating has been established, there’s good value in believing that the Kings can dial down the special-teams situations and grind out another win based on their 5-on-5 advantage.
Your best here is on another win for the road dogs.
Pick: Kings moneyline (+165); play down to +140
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