Ice picks: Sunday's best NHL bets

Apr 21, 2012 |
Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks (-175, 5)

The Kings will get another crack at their first playoff series win since 2001 when they visit the Canucks for Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Sunday. Los Angeles built the first 3-0 series lead in franchise history but failed to eliminate Vancouver at home on Wednesday. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks welcomed Daniel Sedin back to the lineup Wednesday after a 12-game absence due to a concussion.

Many Kings are not happy about the three-day break between Games 4 and 5, but Jeff Carter is not among them. Carter missed time at the end of the regular season with an ankle injury but returned to the lineup for the start of the Vancouver series. After going three games without a point following a two-assist performance in the series opener, Carter is pleased to have more time to heal. "I think with the two days before the last game, and then the extra day here, it's probably not an ideal situation, but for myself personally and for some other guys around here that are a little banged up, it's nice to get a little extra rest," Carter said.

Cory Schneider is likely to make his third straight start for Vancouver, leaving Roberto Luongo on the bench again. Schneider praised Luongo's demeanor and approach to serving as backup. "He's been great to me and great to the team," Schneider said. "He's handled this extremely well. He hasn't said a word and he's been nothing but a true professional and the great guy that he is."

Much like Carter, Daniel Sedin must be happy to have had three days off. Sedin returned for Game 4 and notched an assist. "The fact we've got three days in between games here is going to permit Danny to get up to his speed," coach Alain Vigneault said.

It's a steep price, but the West’s top seed won’t see its season end at home.


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