Lord Stanley's Cup is in the building and it may well be back in the hands of the Los Angeles Kings before the night is out. Monday's 3-0 shutout victory for LA also made it 3-0 in the series and left New York facing the prospect of being the first club swept in the Finals since Washington were humbled by Detroit in 1998.
Only four teams in NHL history have come back to win a series; one of them being these same Kings last month, so that gives you some contest for the size of task for the Rangers. Odds of 14.00 probably aren't enough to go against over a century of hockey records, in fact going off evidence of this situation from the last 20 seasons they face a battle to even extend their season beyond tonight.
When the Kings reigned in 2012 there was no doubt that those playoffs belonged to netminder Jonathan Quick, this year No. 32 hasn't needed to be as good but the Game 3 blanking reminded everyone of his penchant for the big time. It also provided opposing goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a lesson in how to protect a lead and a couple of spectacular stick saves stood out in denying the Rangers any chance to gain a foothold.
Much like the first couple of matchups it was one way traffic later on with the chasing side battling hard, the lack of response this time proved New York can't pull off the power style needed to break an entrenched defence as well as the Kings. You need only look at how some of their highest paid players have done to see where it has gone wrong, a combined zero goals in the last three games for Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Derek Stepan says a lot. If Quick wants to keep denying them and be the hero again I'd take a serious look at 1.86 on the home side scoring under 2.5 goals.
As much as I'd like to pick the Rangers to prolong the fun their odds have actually shortened for this game compared to the contest two nights ago. I can only think that's because of the desperation factor and if they do establish an advantage then a swelling of support will surely follow from the MSG crowd. Better value is to be found though on the tie or for the Cup to be in Kings captain Dustin Brown's hands before the night is out.
Best Bet: Los Angeles Kings to win at 3.00