If Final Four odds have had you busy over the last couple of weeks, the NHL playoffs haven't started yet, but they're close, and there's a possible first-round preview on deck on Thursday as Vancouver heads to Los Angeles.
Canucks vs Kings odds – Thursday, April 1, 10:30 PM ET
Henrik Sedin led the way with three points in a 4-1 win at home over Phoenix on Tuesday, and he now leads the NHL in points with 104, three more than Washington's Alex Ovchekin. Brother Daniel also scored, along with linemate Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond, while Roberto Luongo stopped 33 shots for the Canucks, who sit in third place in the Western Conference and are on the verge of clinching the Northwest for the third time in four seasons. The emergence of the Sedin twins is something that hockey betting players didn't see coming, as we always knew they were solid players, but without the explosiveness they've shown this year. They have also improved immensely on the defensive end.
The Kings blanked Nashville 2-0 on the road on Tuesday, as Jonathan Bernier stopped 34 shots for the first shutout of his NHL career. Scott Parse and Sean O'Donnell lit the lamp in the third period for the Kings, who currently sit in seventh in the West, just one point behind Detroit and two points behind Nashville, and if the Sedin twins' breakout year was a surprise, the Kings making the playoffs is absolutely mind-boggling. Everyone knew that the Kings had a solid young foundation that would eventually come on, but not this year.
Sportsbook odds should favor the Kings at home, where they are 21-13-3, but the Canucks have won three of their last four in the City of Angels. The Canucks have also won five in a row overall against the Kings, including all three meetings this season, and the line of the Sedins and Burrows have combined for nine points, while Luongo has two wins and a 1.00 GAA. The Kings have managed just three goals against the Canucks, and they need to find a way to solve the Canucks' defense, which has some injuries heading into the postseason. The win in Nashville snapped a four-game skid for the Kings, and two of those came by a one-goal margin, so it's not like they are getting blown out. The Kings have a lot of players that are just figuring out how to navigate the stretch run into the playoffs, and they should be solid enough at home to avoid the season sweep at the hands of the Canucks. Take the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday before making some March Madness picks.