Six cagey games down, the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will go for one last round tonight in Game Seven.
San Jose tied it up two days ago with a squeaky 2-1 victory, now they have to find a way to break the sequence of home wins. LA fans didn't see any of this kind of drama last year when their team powered to the Stanley Cup, making this the first time they've faced elimination in their last six playoff series.
Whoever has scored first has gone on to win all six prior contests, so you can see why when there's been so few goals in the series. On Sunday the Kings practically handed it to their opponents by taking three minor penalties inside the first five minutes. For them, balancing intensity with discipline early on may make all the difference, referees are undoubtedly more lenient in massive games which should play into LA's hands.
At times like this, a timely contribution from your key defencemen wouldn't go amiss. Drew Doughty has been getting around 28 minutes of ice time on the blueline for LA but has just one point in the series. Slava Voynov is another King with the potential to make an impact, with the Russian's four playoff goals tied for the lead amongst defenders.
Dan Boyle does much of the same job for San Jose and his puck-moving skills have been a big factor in the effectiveness of the Sharks' powerplay. It's unlikely that both offences will break out tonight with the quality of defence goaltending on show. Under 4.5 total goals keeps coming in so take it on once again at 1.78.
Two of the three deciders played in the first round were won by the road team so San Jose can take heart from that. The Sharks are a very tempting option then out at 3.25, they're a little hard done by in that respect considering how close the series has been. I still believe that LA have been the better team over the course of the six games, and as defending champions they will have that extra belief when the time comes. Take the Kings to get it done at 2.05.
Best Bet: Los Angeles Kings to win at 2.05