Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers (-159, 5)
Kings lead series 3-1.
The Los Angeles Kings get a chance to capture their second championship in three years at home as they host the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final on Friday. After winning the first three contests to push New York to the brink of elimination, Los Angeles was unable to complete the sweep as it dropped a 2-1 decision at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis scored while Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves as the Rangers improved to 11-2 in their last 13 elimination games and won their NHL-record eighth straight such contest at home.
Captain Dustin Brown netted the lone goal for the Kings, who had the opportunity to claim the Cup on the two-year anniversary of their first championship. Los Angeles outshot New York 15-1 in the third period of Game 4 and also dominated on faceoffs, winning 41 of the 65 draws. The Kings are 7-4 at home this postseason while the Rangers are 6-6 on the road.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS
LINE HISTORY: The Kings opened as -163 faves, dropped to -155 immediately after and have since moved up to -159
INJURY REPORT: N/A
WHAT THE CAPPERS SAY: "The Kings were in a similar position in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago, jumping ahead in the series 3-0 before squandering a pair of opportunities to close out the series before ultimately winning it in Game 6. You can be sure they'll be focused on finishing the job on home ice on Friday after outplaying the Rangers but watching Henrik Lundqvist steal Game 4. The Rangers have expended a ton of energy in this series, first blowing two-goal leads in both Games 1 and 2 before getting shut out in Game 3 and finally getting in the win column in Game 4. It's hard to say whether they'll have enough left in the tank to get this series back to New York for Game 6." Covers Expert Sean Murphy.
WHAT THE BOOKS SAY: "A lot of people expect LA to hoist the cup on Friday, as heavy early action (88% of cash & 83% of bets) are on the Kings at -175." Mike Perry, Sportsbook.ag.
ABOUT THE KINGS: Contrary to expectation, Los Angeles has been outhit in three of the first four games of the series. The team has had the edge in faceoffs, barely outdueling New York in each of the first three contests before owning the category in Game 4. That's a hollow victory to Brown, who was disappointed that his club was unable to finish off the Rangers. "We weren't good enough to win," he said. "It's about finding a way to be better. It is an opportunity lost."
ABOUT THE RANGERS: Pouliot's goal 7:25 into Game 4 was New York's first tally since Derick Brassard scored at 14:50 of the second period in Game 2, ending a drought of 123 minutes, 1 second. The tally was Pouliot's second of the series, as he also netted the first goal of the final. St. Louis also tallied for the second time this series and has recorded a team-high eight goals in 24 playoff games after scoring only once in 19 regular-season contests after being acquired from Tampa Bay.
* Over is 7-2-1 In Kings last 10 games.
* Home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
* Kings are 9-1 in their last 10 vs. Metropolitan.
* Over is 4-0-1 in Kings last five home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 64.78 percent of Covers Consensus bets are on the Kings.