Los Angeles Kings 2.05 – New York Rangers 3.25
Getting wrapped up in the Stanley Cup Finals hasn't been easy because of an extra day off since LA took Game 1.
There was an element of trepidation from both teams on Wednesday but they're into it now and I've no doubt the competitiveness will pick up from here on out. Yet again the Kings came from behind to win this time by three goals to two and I wonder whether New York will get a better opportunity to steal the road win they'll need if they are to win it all.
Whilst the Rangers might have some regrets if you are backing them to win it all it shouldn't have shaken your confidence to a damaging extent and they're now better value to finish as champions, available at 3.20. For the overtime winner it was simply an individual mistake when Dan Girardi's failed clearing attempt proved costly as Mike Richards fed regular Kings hero Justin Williams to zip a shot high past Henrik Lundqvist.
In terms of the impact moving forward I'm not sure I agree with New York coach Alain Vigneault's assessment that matching LA for the first 40 minutes was a positive simply because it was a sub-par LA performance for that time.
When they stepped it up in the final period the Kings dominated the shot count 20-3 and were highly unlucky to see it go to overtime. Of course playing at home helps you be assertive but the sheer control of puck possession is something Vigneault needs to address if he wants his side to not spend so much time defending desperately in their own zone.
That's not to suggest LA don't need to make adjustments of their own either, caught out for both goals by the Rangers’ razor sharp countering speed they'll have pinpointed the threats posed by the likes of Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider.
Enough for either locker room to be confident about their chances tonight and beyond then. I'd like to see how a game pans out should LA manage to get in front at any point, and whether the Rangers have enough about them to break out of the suffocating forecheck.
Until we see otherwise it's fair to assume the Kings can continue to dictate and play on their own terms so I can't see the result being any different.
Best Bet: Los Angeles Kings to win at 2.05.