Today's Free Picks for
Game 2 - posted at 12:15 PM EST.
10:00 PM EST. Regulation only. The Kings lost more than Game 1 when they learned that star defenseman Drew Doughty would be suspended for Game 2 after a hit to the head of Vegas' William Carrier. Doughty is a minute chewer for the Kings after averaging 26:15 (which is a team high) on the ice per game this season and he played nearly half of Game 1 with over 28 minutes logged. The "next man up" mentality might not work as well as it has at other points this season when both Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin went down. Both are fine players, but neither is the heartbeat of this Kings team. Muzzin is still sidelined, as is Derek Forbort, which complicates the Kings' defense situation even further. Doughty isn't like some of the other veteran defensemen in the league who have been falling off a cliff either. This season he posted career highs in assists and points and is in contention for his second Norris Trophy in the last three years. We always stress not to overreact but this one is different. The Kings defense is in serious trouble while their offense was already in trouble.
Who said hockey wasn't going to work in Vegas? With the lights at their neon brightest, the Golden Knights did not look out of place against the veteran Kings in Game 1. That playoff experience was heralded by many pundits, as Los Angeles' biggest edge, but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who has a little playoff pedigree of his own, slammed the door in a 1-0 win. Vegas will likely be without Carrier, who is day-to-day after that hit by Doughty, but while his absence will be missed, it's a trade any team would take, as the hole left by Doughty resembles something you might see on one of those Grand Canyon helicopter tours being peddled on The Strip. The Golden Knights are a bigger favorite tonight than they were in Game 1, but this price still might not be high enough on a team that has won 11-of-12 games at T-Mobile Arena. We have Vegas in this series but will not take our foot off the gas here. A lopsided win in regulation is not out of the question, as the Golden Knight have their swag back after their first playoff win in their first try.
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VEGAS -½ +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)