Los Angeles Kings 2.25 Chicago Blackhawks 2.90
It's now settled that the winner of this series will play the New York Rangers for the Stanley Cup - and LA will attempt to mimic what Rangers did last night by shutting any potential comeback down before it goes to down to a winner-takes-all match on Sunday.
Chicago stayed alive by draining out a 5-4 double overtime victory in Game 5 that might just go down as the best contest of these playoffs as Michal Handzus shrugged off his scoring woes to end it in the 83rd minute of play.
The whole task for them was made much easier by scoring twice in the first four minutes and from LA's point of view once that happens the likely highly structured gameplan is immediately thrown out. Even though they managed to tie it in regulation the Kings know sealing the all-important fourth victory is about not giving a downtrodden team any hope.
Patrick Kane ended Wednesday's game with a mighty four assists but for me the best player on the ice was their leading scorer for the series Brandon Saad. The winger has been one of few members of the checking lines to step up for the Blackhawks because he rotates in to the top units as well but on the night Handzus and Ben Smith showed to give the stars some relief.
One lingering issue for them is in the faceoff circle where LA continue to win the majority of draws allowing them to establish territory more easily. After the madness a few nights ago the option of under 4.5 total goals is now available at 2.14 and I'm sure we will see a reduced, more conservative game from the Kings in particular.
Clearly Chicago will lay it all on the line to retain their status as defending champions for as long as possible but doing it on the road just raises the difficulty level that extra fraction. I don't think you can go wrong with taking the tie at 3.75 and if there's only one or two goals in it late on you can bet the chasing side will be laying siege to try to even things up. Such a tough call, LA won both of their home games earlier in the series and with my eyes shut I'll just about call them to see this out.
Best Bet: Los Angeles Kings to win at 2.28