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The Canucks looked nothing short of awful in game one but stormed back to steal the series momentum with a great performance on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Vegas has written the opposite story with an incredible series opener followed by a complete flop. Game three should be the most exciting game yet hands down. Vegas takes back the series lead with a 3-2 overtime win.
Vegas Golden Knights to win at -305
The total has now gone over in six of Vancouver’s last eight games. Meanwhile, Vegas is now 9-2 Straight Up through their last 11.
|Canucks vs Golden Knights Game Information|
|What||Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights|
|Where||Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB|
|When||August 29, 2020, 9:45 pm EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
At the end of the day, this third game could tell the series story. After a total back and forth first few games for each team, the series edge is on the line. For Vancouver, another win is imperative. Vegas is the favorite in this best of seven for a reason and if the Canucks can steal a few early wins that could all change in a hurry.
As for Vegas, a game three loss wouldn’t be the end of the world. The big question is how long of a leash does Robin Lehner have after his shuttering game two performance? Marc-Andre Fleury’s name comes with a bit of controversy now after his agent posted a photo of him getting stabbed in the back (metaphorically) by his coach’s sword. Will he start or be on early standby is the question.
Throughout the playoffs and play-ins thus far captain Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson have been the studs for Vancouver. Quinn Hughes, JT Miller, and Brock Boeser have had their moments. Heck, even Tyler Motte has stolen a few headlines, but it’s the big two that have been the best in this series especially. That will have to continue in game three.
The one they call “Petey” leads the way for Vancouver with 16-points thus far, which is just four back of league leader Nathan MacKinnon, while Bo Horvat leads the league in goals with eight. If Vancouver can keep utilizing these guys by giving them room to make plays the team has a good chance. The Canucks have excelled working the puck around the walls and freeing up real estate in the middle of the Vegas zone. This strategy has to stay in-tact.
Behind them, all is Jacob Markstrom who seems to have regained his confidence after a very shaky opening night performance against Vegas. Markstrom was pulled in game one but shed aside 38 of 40 shots on Tuesday. If he can keep his composure the sky’s the limit for this team’s potential.
Standing in the way of the Canucks are the cup contending favorites (to some). Vegas is the top seed in the West after taking the round-robin seeding tourney a few weeks back and doesn’t shy down from a challenge. While they looked rough at times last game this is a team full of confidence and skill – a very deadly combo.
However, to regain that series lead they’re going to need their goaltending to once again be their backbone. Robin Lehner got in front of just 22 of 26 on Tuesday and did not look like the wall we saw in game one by any means. If Vegas wants to regain their composure, they’ll need him to once again find his form.
If he can’t, all hope is still not lost. Marc-Andre Fleury is a proven and well decorated veteran tender that can step in no problem. However, if that does happen, you’ll then have two goaltenders with a chip on their shoulder against the coach. That’s definitely not an ideal situation for a young franchise on the brink of greatness.
For Vegas to take this huge third game their defense will need to be sound to take the pressure off their crease. Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt may have to play a little more conservative while Alec Martinez will need to return to his usual stay at home, attack suffocating defensive self.
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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