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The Vegas Golden Knights are 3-0-2 in their previous five games.
The Seattle Kraken have won five of their last six games.
The Golden Knights are 2-1-0 against the Kraken last season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Vegas Golden Knights
46-27-8 (4th in Pacific Division)
50-22-9 (1st in Pacific Division)
Jared McCann (70)
Jack Eichel (65)
Jared McCann (40)
Jonathan Marchessault (28)
Vince Dunn (50)
Chandler Stephenson (49)
Vince Dunn (29)
Alec Martinez (27)
Jared McCann (2.64)
Shots (Per Game)
Jack Eichel (3.35)
The Vegas Golden Knights will travel to Seattle to face the Kraken for the fourth and final time this season. The Golden Knights have had the upper hand in this regular season series, winning two of three games.
The Golden Knights barely missed the Playoffs but will be playing past the regular season this year. They are in first place in the Pacific Division with 109 points but need at least one point to secure the spot. On the other side, the Kraken have locked up the first Wild Card spot but can move into third place in the Pacific with a win and a Los Angeles Kings loss in regulation.
The Golden Knights have been playing great hockey all season long. They started off the season hot and took that momentum into the rest of the year. Offensively, they are not elite, but they are above average. Vegas averages nearly 3.3 goals a game and put up four goals in their previous game. Defensively, they are much better and rank just outside of the top ten. The Golden Knights have a handful of solid defensemen that have played a huge role in limiting opposing teams’ scoring. It is also worth noting that the Knights’ new goaltender Jonathan Quick has played pretty well since coming to Vegas. I do not know what his role will be in the Playoffs, but he has been helpful this regular season.
The Golden Knights have a few premier goal-scorers in Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, and Relly Smith. These three all have at least 25 goals and are efficient shooters.
Jonathan Quick will likely get the start in the net for the Golden Knights. Quick has not been dominant for Vegas, but he has been much better since arriving there from Los Angeles.
The Kraken, like the Golden Knights, missed the Playoffs last season but flipped the script this year. Their offense has been excellent. Seattle averages nearly 3.6 goals per game and has 21 goals in their previous five games. Defensively, they are not as good as the Golden Knights. They are a little above average and will need to improve in the Playoffs. I would be remiss if I did not mention Kraken’s netminders. Seattle’s kryptonite in the Playoffs may be their goaltenders. They do not have any dominant players in the crease, which will likely cause major problems for them in the Playoffs.
The Kraken are led by Jared McCann, Vince Dunn, Jordan Eberle, and Matty Beniers. None of these players are cracking any top-ten lists, but they are all effective players and dangerous with the puck in their hands.
Martin Jones will probably get the start for Seattle. Jones is the #1 netminder for the Kraken but would be a #2 goalie for most teams. He will need to bring his A-game to the Playoffs.
The Kraken will have a home-ice advantage in this matchup, which will be the difference in this game. Bet on Seattle to win.
The Golden Knights are the favorites but will only win if they score a power play goal and slow down Jared McCann.
The Golden Knights have a middle-of-the-pack power play unit and convert a little over 20% of their opportunities. This unit is not consistent but will need to provide offense and put at least one puck in the back of the net this game.
Jared McCann is the top player on the Kraken. He leads the team in points (70) and goals (40). The Golden Knights’ defensemen must take him seriously and slow him down as much as possible.
The Kraken are the underdogs but will win if they score first and have strong goaltending.
The Kraken are barely the underdogs and can become the favorites if they score the first goal. The Kraken will have a much better chance of winning if they strike first.
The Kraken lack quality goaltenders but will need to see solid goaltending today. They will face a Golden Knights’ team that averages 31.7 shots, so strong goaltending will be necessary and vital to this game.
Jack Eichel is the obvious choice. The center has played in 66 games this season and has 65 points (27 goals, 38 assists). Eichel does not need to score in this game, but he does need to finish with at least an assist. His offense will be key to the Golden Knights’ winning.
I spoke a little bit about Jared McCann earlier in this article. I will not go over his number again, but I will say this. McCann scores on nearly 20% of his shots. His teammates must set him up with opportunities.
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What - Vegas Golden Knights vs Seattle Kraken
Where - Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
When - Thursday, April 12, 10:30 PM EST
How to Watch - ESPN
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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