The NHL Playoffs have just four teams remaining, and that number will be trimmed to two by the end of next week. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars will meet up for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night.
This series has been thoroughly entertaining through the first two games, but scoring has been hard to come by for each team. The teams have combined for just four goals; however, both the Stars and the Golden Knights have picked up a win.
Dallas won the series opener by a score of 1-0, and Vegas responded with a 3-0 win in Game 2. The team that finds their rhythm on offense will likely be able to take control of the series.
The Vegas Golden Knights are -175 in this Game 3, while the Dallas Stars are being offered at +150.
Goaltending Carrying Golden Knights
The Golden Knights have done many things the right way during this postseason run, but their goaltending tandem has truly stood out. Robin Lehner has been the go-to starter for Vegas, but Marc-Andre Fleury has played well when he has gotten a chance.
Lehner already has four shutouts so far in these playoffs, including a dominating performance in Game 2 of this Western Conference Finals. The Golden Knights acquired Lehner at the trade deadline, and he has played a pivotal role in the postseason.
Vegas is also loaded with offensive talent, and their special teams play have been exceptional in the playoffs. The Golden Knights have converted on more than 20 percent of their power-play chances during the postseason run.
Shea Theodore leads the team with 17 postseason points, but he has gotten plenty of help. Mark Stone has chipped in with 15 points, and Alex Tuch leads the team with eight goals in the playoffs.
Stars Still Looking For Offense
The Dallas Stars have advanced to the Western Conference Finals on the strength of their defense and goaltending, but this team is constantly looking for more offense. Dallas averaged less than 2.6 goals per game this season, and that number needs to improve if they want to pull off this upset.
Miro Heiskanen has been the best offensive player for Dallas during this playoff run, and he has been one of the best players in the entire league. Heiskanen leads the team with 21 points, which includes five goals and 16 assists.
Anton Khubodin has taken over the goaltending job for the Dallas Stars, and he has posted a 9-6 record so far in these playoffs. Khubodin has stopped 91 percent of shots he has faced, and he has done a great job of slowing down the Golden Knights.
Dallas wants to turn this series into a low-scoring affair, but that’s not easy to do against a high-powered Golden Knights team.
Golden Knights Take Series Lead
Defense and goaltending have dominated this Western Conference playoff series up to this point, but that will change at some point. These teams are too good offensively to be shut down continually.
If this series does shift into an offensive battle, the edge flips to the Golden Knights in a big way. Vegas has been a dominant offensive team throughout the postseason, and they are going to hit their stride again at some point.
Dallas has put up a great fight through the first two games, but they don’t have as much talent as Vegas. The Golden Knights are going to take control of this series, and it will start in Game 3.
Bet the Vegas Golden Knights -175 over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.