The St. Louis Blues (24-19-8) look to book their ticket back to the playoffs by winning against the Vegas Golden Knights (37-13-2). This is also a potential playoff matchup between the two. The Knights lead the season series 4-2-0 and are -175 favorites to win on the betting lines.
Vegas will look to play spoiler against the Blues, who failed to clinch against Anaheim in a hard-fought shootout loss. But St. Louis has been on a roll having won five of its last seven. However, the Knights are near-unbeatable at home.
Blues: Underdog Champions
There is no team better situated to make a deep run into the postseason than the St. Louis Blues. They’ve done it before and they’re set up to do it again. St. Louis, which is +2200 to win it all per the Stanley Cup odds is two points from clinching.
Leading the Blues’ charge is G Jordan Binnington, who has some experience being a playoff hero of sorts. The third-year netminder has begun to turn his game around and has a 4-0-2 record in his last six starts with a 92.4 save percent (SV%).
When you’re facing Jordan Binnington, if at first you don’t succeed…
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 2, 2021
Binnington endured a rough season like the team, which has been whittled by injuries, particularly to the defense. Since enduring a six-game skid, the Blues have gone 8-3-2 with big wins over Colorado (twice), Vegas, and Minnesota (four). Watch out for the red-hot Blues.
Golden Knights: Still the Kings
As good as the Blues have been, the Vegas Golden Knights aren’t worried. They’ve had the best record in the NHL during this span (12-3-0) and have the best goal differential (+23).
A lot of these wins have come against the lower-tier of the division but Vegas didn’t skip a beat when it sliced up the Avalanche 5-2 and split its visit in Minnesota. Most notably, the Knights haven’t lost at home since April 3.
You’ll hardly find this team as an underdog and they’ve delivered as a favorite with a 34-12-2 record while being a profitable team on the puck line (21-26). The team is exciting, but it’s been their defense and goaltending that’s carried them with the one-two punch of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner.
Pick: Staying Alive
The Vegas Golden Knights responded from its 6-5 loss against Minnesota with a 3-2 win as a pick’em on the betting lines. Fleury reached a milestone and now they’ll look to get one back against the St. Louis Blues, who beat them 3-1 the last meeting.
Vegas is 19-4-2 at home but one of those losses came in a shootout against St. Louis. Still, both of their home games against the Blues have been dominant performances. The Knights outshot the Blues by a total of 40 and had it not been for Binnington, the scores would be more lopsided.
The Knights are monsters at home, but the Blues have been playing some tremendous hockey lately. Coupled with Binnington’s inspired play, the Blues should make this a close game although I still see Vegas eking this one out.
Pick: St. Louis Blues +1½ (-165) or Vegas Golden Knights -175
Bonus Pick: Ring His Bell
Binnington has been on fire lately and he’s played well against the Golden Knights with a 2-1-1 record. Most notably, he’s stopped 170 of the 186 shots he’s faced in five appearances. That’s an average of 34 saves against the Knights.
In Vegas, Binnington’s made 72 saves in two games. The Knights average nearly 33 shots a game at home and Binnington will once again be busy. Barring getting pulled early, he’s a solid bet to make over 28 saves.
Pick: Jordan Binnington (STL) Total Saves – Over 28½ Saves (+105)