Stars vs. Golden Knights Game 1 prediction, pick, odds for NHL playoffs

The Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars do many of the same things.

They’re both strong 5-on-5 teams, know how to lock things up defensively, and have game-breaking talents at the top of their lineup.

But there is one major difference between these two sides: The goaltending.

While Adin Hill was terrific in relief against the Edmonton Oilers and had strong numbers in limited duty in the regular season, there’s no question which goalie in this series is more likely to be the showstopper.

Jake Oettinger was not at his best in Round 2 against the Seattle Kraken, but Oettinger seemed to find his form in Game 7, and we know that his ceiling is as high as almost any goaltender in the NHL

Goaltending is hard to project — especially on a game-to-game basis — but this matchup does seem to come down to one essential question: Can Adin Hill keep pace with Jake Oettinger?

Stars vs. Golden Knights prediction

(8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN)

Of course, a big part of that question isn’t even up to Hill. Vegas defended brilliantly against the Oilers at 5-on-5 in Round 2, and if the Knights are able to duplicate that effort, Hill’s job becomes a lot easier.

The Knights were a strong, though not elite, defensive team during the regular season.

Vegas ranked 11th in goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, ninth in expected goals allowed, 11th in high-danger chances conceded and 13th in shots on goal allowed. 

Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill
Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill
Getty Images

Those numbers have either held true or improved in the playoffs, which is impressive considering that Vegas had to get through the Winnipeg Jets and the Oilers to get to this point in the postseason.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy spent the last half-decade turning the Boston Bruins into one of the best defensive teams in the Salary Cap era, so it’s not surprising that he’s got the Knights up to speed at the most important part of the season. 

As strong as the Knights have been defensively, their offensive production has raised some eyebrows in the postseason.

No team is scoring more goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 than Vegas, but there is reason to be skeptical that it can continue. The Knights are averaging 3.4 goals per hour at 5-on-5, but they’re only creating 2.6 expected goals per game.

They’ve been aided by some hot finishing and poor goaltending — especially in the last series. It would not be surprising to see Vegas experience some regression on the offensive side of the puck.

William Karlsson #71 of the Las Vegas Golden Knights
William Karlsson #71 of the Las Vegas Golden Knights
Getty Images

Betting on the NHL?

The Golden Knights and Stars are two evenly-matched teams in basically every area of the game.

They’re strong at 5-on-5, have offensive firepower, and defend well.

But the difference in goal tilts this toward Dallas — especially as an underdog.

Stars vs. Golden Knights Game 1 pick

Dallas Stars +108 (FanDuel)

Source link

𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

Similar Posts