The NHL Western Conference Finals could wrap up Monday when the Dallas Stars face off against the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5. The Stars are currently up 3-1 against the top-seeded team.
Dallas is currently the underdog coming in at +150 on the moneyline. They’re only a game away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years. It would be quite an upset if they managed to close things out in five games.
In this article, we’ll start by breaking down how each team performed in the playoffs. Then we’ll discuss some basic stats from their current series before offering our free pick for this game. You can place your bets on our sportsbook via our NHL betting lines page after reading through the information we present in this article.
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Stars vs Golden Knights Game 5 Preview
Stars’ Playoff Breakdown
The Dallas Stars began their playoff campaign Aug. 11 against the Calgary Flames. It was a hard-fought series that was neck and neck right up until Game 6 where the Stars closed it out 4-2.
Dallas actually lost the first game of that series, 3-2. The Stars followed up the Round 1 opener with a win in Game 2 in a high-scoring affair that ended 5-4. Game 3 the Flames took the series lead again, shutting out the Stars and walking away with a 2-0 lead.
Dallas fought its way back in Game 4 to tie the series. It was a high scoring game once again finishing up at 5-4, repeating Game 2’s outcome.
Game 5 is where things started to turn around for the Stars. They beat Calgary for the second game in a row beating them 2-1 and taking the series lead.
They entered Game 6 leading the series and closed things with a dominating performance, beating the Flames 7-3 to wrap up Round 1.
Their conference semifinal opponent was the Colorado Avalanche. This series played out quite differently. Dallas opened up the series with two quick wins. Colorado managed to win Game 3, but the Stars kept things seemingly out of reach when they won Game 4.
These teams went into Game 5 with Dallas up 3-1 in the series, poised to advance. The Avalanche fought back and won two games in a row, forcing a Game 7. In a highly competitive finish to the series, the Stars managed to beat Colorado 5-4.
It was enough to secure their spot in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden Knights.
Their offense has been led by Joe Pavelski, who leads his team with nine goals. Right behind are Denis Gurianov and Alexander Radulov, who both have eight so far in the playoffs.
Golden Knights’ Playoff Breakdown
The Las Vegas Golden Knights kicked off the playoffs in Round 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks. They nearly swept them, coming out with an early 3-0 lead in the series. They won, 4-1, 4-3 and 2-1 in the first three games.
In Game 4, the Blackhawks claimed their only victory, 3-1. Las Vegas closed out the series in Game 5, 4-3 and sending a clear message the No 1. seed wasn’t messing around.
Their semifinal series against the Vancouver Canucks didn’t go quite as smoothly and went all the way to a Game 7. Overall during the series, the Golden Knights seemed to be the better team, consistently outshooting the Canucks.
It was due to the efforts of Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom that really made the difference. He consistently put a stop to Las Vegas’ offensive onslaught and nearly led his team to a major upset against the top-ranked team in the Pacific Division.
At first, it looked like the series was going to be a blowout. The Golden Knights opened with a 5-0 victory against the Canucks. In Game 2, Vancouver got a bit of redemption, 5-2.
Game 3 the Golden Knights shut out the Canucks 3-0 and in Game 4 they won 5-3, extending their series lead to 3-1. Then Vancouver caught fire winning Game 5 2-1 and then Game 6 in a devastating 4-0 win over Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights were able recover and won Game 7 in a decisive 3-0 victory, earning their spot in the conference finals.
So far in the playoffs, their offense has been spearheaded by Alex Tuch, who is leading his team with eight goals. Right behind him are Shea Theodore and Mark Stone. These guys are going to have to step it up if they want to wage a major comeback from their predicament of being two games behind in their current series heading into Game 5 with a two-game deficit.
No. 1 Seed Stanley Cup Qualification in Jeopardy
So far, the NHL Western Conference Finals is the Dallas Stars’ to lose. They’ll be heading into Game 5 with a 3-1 lead over the favorite to win, the Golden Knights.
Although Dallas is winning the series it hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk. The Stars won the first game, 1-0. In Game 2, Las Vegas asserted its dominance with a convincing 3-0 win.
Since then the Stars have won two games in a row, the first ending 3-2 and the second 2-1.
If you total their goals, they are actually tied with six goals each. Much of Dallas’ success can be attributed to the work of Anton Khudobin, who blocked 32 out of 33 shots Saturday night.
If it wasn’t for his excellent goalkeeping, the Golden Knights could easily be winning this series instead of finding themselves on the brink of elimination. Las Vegas has been dominating the puck and playing a majority of the game on the Dallas side of the rink.
Overall this series the Golden Knights are leading the Stars in every category on offense. They have 33 shots on goal compared with 20 for Dallas. They have nearly double the number of shots attempted as well, 68-38.
Saturday night Las Vegas was unable to capitalize on over a minute of 5 on 3 time when there was only 5:54 left in the game. If the Golden Knights are going to rescue this series, they are going have to find a way to get more shots in from close range.
BetUS Free Pick: Dallas Stars Puck Line
Stars vs Golden Knights Game 5 Preview Odds Game 5
Dallas Stars: +1½ -170, +155 moneyline
Las Vegas Golden Knights: -1½ +150, -175 moneyline
Despite coming into Game 5 two games behind the Dallas Stars, the Vegas Golden Knights are the clear favorites as far as the odds are concerned. They are overall a better team and have had a lot more opportunities to score, they just haven’t been able to get past Khudobin.
Three of the last four games have been decided by one goal. For this Stars vs Golden Knights Game 5 Preview, I suggest a bet on the puck line as the safest bet for Game 5. Especially considering that a straight moneyline bet on the Golden Knights gives you the same odds roughly.