The Vegas Golden Knights will look to send the Colorado Avalanche packing when they play host to their West Division rivals in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday. After losing the first two games of this series in Colorado, it’s been all Vegas ever since. Now the Golden Knights could finish off the NHL’s top seed by recording their fourth consecutive win.
Vegas is offering a bunch of value as a slight home favorite to get it done in Game 6 with the total set at 5½, the same figure it has been in every game this series. The value-packed NHL Odds for this contest and every other NHL playoff pairing are live in the BetUS online sportsbook right now.
Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche
When: Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
TV: NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Radio: FM 92.5/AM 950
Moneyline Odds: Colorado +115 || Vegas -135
Puck Line: Colorado -1½ (-220) || Vegas -1½ (+180)
Total: 5½ (-120u)
Avs Need Explosive Offense – In A Hurry
Colorado led the NHL in scoring in the regular season by putting up a stellar 3.5 goals per game, and the Avs were at their high-flying best in Game 1. Colorado blitzed Vegas for a stunning seven goals en route to a jaw-dropping 7-1 blowout on May 30, but the Avalanche have since seen their offense mostly shut down.
Colorado managed to get past Vegas 3-2 in overtime in Game 2, but the Avs have been limited to two goals or fewer in each of the last three games. Top-line center Nathan MacKinnon has been held scoreless in three straight and has only one assist since scoring a pair of goals and one assist in Game 1.
Left-winger Gabriel Landeskog is scoreless in two straight games and has only one assist since putting three points on the board in Game 1. Right winger Mikko Rantanen scored a goal in the first three games, but was limited to one assist in Game 5 after a scoreless Game 4 outing.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar switched up his lines in an effort to generate more offense in Game 5. Bednar moved Brandon Saad to the top line and dropped Landeskog to the second unit.
Saad scored, but Colorado’s other goal came off the stick of Joonas Donskoi. Colorado needs someone on its top line to come up with a big effort if the Avs want to extend their season and force a Game 7.
“We don’t have much time to do anything but rebound,” Landeskog said. “We’ve got to go into Vegas and win a hockey game. It’s as simple as that.”
The Avalanche are 5-2 in their last seve road games.
The Avalanche are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
The Avalanche are 39-17 in their last 56 games playing on one day of rest.
The Avalanche are 1-4 in their last five playoff games as an underdog.
Fleury, Knights Look Like Puck Line Locks
Vegas has won three straight with veteran center Jonathan Marchessault and future Hall of Fame netminder Marc-Andre Fleury in the middle of everything. After going off for a hat trick in Sunday’s 5-1 blowout win, Marchessault hurt Colorado again by lighting the lamp in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win, as predicted.
Marchessault scored just over three minutes after Alex Tuch narrowed Colorado’s early 2-0 lead. Mark Stone finished off the Avs just 50 seconds into overtime to give Vegas a 3-2 series lead as we head back to Vegas.
“I had a couple big shot blocks right before that,” Stone said. “Sometimes when the D-man shoots it like that, they get flat-footed. Just took off, fortunate to end the game.”
Fleury made outstanding saves against Landeskog and J.T. Compher’s rebound attempt 10 seconds into overtime. The Vezina Trophy candidate finished with 28 saves for the second-seeded Golden Knights.
“The game should’ve been over,” Stone said. “We should’ve been going home, but ‘Flower’ made a huge save and kept us in it and gave me that opportunity to end it.”
Fleury recorded his 88th career playoff win to move into a tie with Billy Smith and Ed Belfour for the fourth-most in NHL history. It was also Fleury’s 12th career playoff overtime win, trailing only Tuukka Rask (15) and Braden Holtby (14) for most among active goaltenders.
“He’s a Vezina candidate for a reason,” Stone said of Fleury, who’s up for the league’s top goaltender award. “He’s the Vezina winner in my opinion for a reason and he stayed strong throughout the whole game.”
The Golden Knights are 4-1 in their last five games playing on one day of rest.
The Golden Knights are 40-14 in their last 54 home games.
The Golden Knights are 37-14 in their last 51 games as a home favorite.
The Golden Knights are 5-2 in their last seven playoff games as a favorite.
The Golden Knights are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.
Knights Shut Front Door
If you’ve been keeping up with the daily picks in this series, you know how I feel about the Golden Knights and Fleury. Vegas has more quality depth than any team in the NHL and Fleury has been the biggest star of this playoff series and perhaps the entire postseason.
Fleury leads all goalies in goals-against-average in the playoffs (1.81), is tied for sixth in save percentage (.925) and tied for second in shutouts (one). In 11 games against Minnesota and Colorado, Fleury has limited the opposition to two goals or fewer seven times while allowing a lone goal three times.
As for Marchessault, the 30-year-old has scored five goals in the last three games after recording one assist in the first two against Colorado. Combine their outstanding play with the fact that six Golden Knights players have scored at least three goals in the playoffs, and a whopping 10 have at least two goals, and it’s easy to see why Vegas is so difficult to beat.
The Golden Knights are 13-3 in their last 16 when their opponent scores two goals or fewer in their previous contest. The favorite in this rivalry is 5-2 in the last seven meetings and the home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
No way does Vegas blow a chance to finish off arguably the most dangerous opponent it will face this postseason. The Knights win and get it done by at least two goals to cover the NHL puck line odds, sending the Colorado Avalanche packing for the summer.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights -1½ goals (+180)