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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Vegas Golden Knights
51-22-9 (1st in Pacific Division)
47-21-14 (2nd in Central Division)
Jack Eichel, Mark Stone (15)
Roope Hintz (22)
Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson (7)
Roope Hintz (10)
Jack Eichel (9)
Roope Hintz (12)
Jonathan Marchessault (10)
Evgenii Dadonov (7)
Jack Eichel (3.54)
Shots (Per Game)
Roope Hintz (3.07)
The Vegas Golden Knights will travel to Dallas to face the Stars in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals. Games One and Two were intense battles that both ended in overtime. However, Game One almost did not go beyond regulation. The Golden Knights had a 3-2 lead with less than five minutes to go, but Jamie Benn scored a goal with 1:59 left in regulation. He was assisted by Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz. The Golden Knights did not meltdown after that goal. Only 95 seconds into overtime, Vegas’ Brett Howden scored Playoff goal #3 and gave Vegas the win.
Game Two was just as exciting as Game One. The Stars had a 2-1 lead late into the third period, but Jonathan Marchessault scored a game-tying goal with a little under 2.5 minutes left. The Golden Knights took advantage of that momentum, and Chandler Stephenson scored the game-winner a little over a minute into the overtime period. Vegas has a huge advantage in this series, but the Stars can get closer with a win at home today.
The Golden Knights have seen a balanced scoring attack in the Playoffs from Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, Ivan Barbashev, and William Karlsson. Eichel and Stone each have six goals and nine assists. Their production has been consistent and critical to the Golden Knights’ success this Postseason. Chandler Stephenson has seven goals and had the game-winner in Game Two, Marchessault has a team-leading +/- of ten, Barbashev is only playing a little over 15 minutes a game but has four goals and ten assists, and Karlsson is tied for the team in goals with seven with Chandler Stephenson.
Adin Hill will likely get the start for the Golden Knights in the net. Laurent Brossoit is listed as out with a lower-body injury, so Hill is the next man up. Hill has never been a starter in the NHL, but he is excelling in the Playoffs. The 27-year-old is 5-1-0 and has a .930 save percentage.
The Stars have seen tremendous production from Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, Max Domi, and Jamie Benn. Hintz leads this group with 22 points, Robertson has 11 assists, Pavelski has eight goals and is converting over 36% of his shots, and Domi and Benn have three goals and eight assists.
Jake Oettinger will get the start in net for the Stars. Oettinger was excellent during the regular season but has made some mistakes in the Playoffs. He had a .919 save percentage during the season, but it has dropped to .901 in the Playoffs. The 24-year-old has the ability to be the best netminder in the Playoffs but has not been playing like it.
The Stars are playing at home and will finally secure a win today. Bet on Dallas.
The Golden Knights are the underdogs but will win if they score first and avoid committing penalties.
The Golden Knights were at home for Games One and Two but will have their most challenging matchup on the road today. Vegas will have to deal with a hostile Stars’ crowd but can quiet them down and take the wind out of their sails if they score first.
The Golden Knights’ power play unit has been disappointing in the Playoffs, but the Stars’ has been excellent. Vegas cannot let this unit get on the ice and must avoid committing penalties.
The Stars are the favorites but will only win if they play aggressive defense and win faceoffs.
The Stars have allowed the Golden Knights to score some timely goals and gain a 2-0 lead. Dallas must slow down the Vegas wingers and centers and can do so by playing aggressive defense. If they lay out big hits, the Golden Knights’ offense will be a little slower and a little more hesitant to shoot.
The Stars can also slow down the Golden Knights’ defense by winning faceoffs. If they win ⅔ of their faceoffs, Vegas will not have many offensive opportunities.
Chandler Stephenson was the hero of Game Two when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime. He has been excellent in the Playoffs and has seven goals and six assists. Stephenson must take his momentum from this game and bring it into this matchup. His offense will continue to be vital in the Playoffs.
I rarely pick a goaltender as a key player, but this game is different. As I mentioned above, Jake Oettinger has not been playing up to par in the Playoffs. He must return to form in this game to give his team a chance.
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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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