For the second straight time, it will be the Arizona Coyotes playing host to the Vegas Golden Knights in a West Division showdown. Arizona came away with a 3-0 victory on Friday night and were extremely impressive in doing so. They face off on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.
Vegas had its 10-game winning streak snapped with the loss, but this team has still been on a ridiculous run. The Golden Knights sit in first place in the West Division with 72 points, which is four ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
Arizona comes in with 49 points, which has them outside a playoff spot. The Coyotes trail St. Louis by three points for fourth place and can’t afford many losses.
The Vegas Golden Knights are the betting favorites at -190 in this matchup with the Arizona Coyotes. The over/under is set at 5½ goals.
Vegas Simply Overwhelming Opponents
The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the best teams in the NHL since joining the league, and that is the case again. Not only are the Golden Knights winning games in 2021, but they are also simply rolling over opponents.
The Golden Knights are scoring 3.35 goals per game this season while holding opponents to just 2.16 per game. During the 10-game winning streak, it was not uncommon for Vegas to win games by multiple goals.
Mark Stone leads the way for the Golden Knights with 37 assists and 56 points. Max Pacioretty has a team-high 24 goals, but this team is able to get goals from up and down the roster.
The goaltending tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner continue to shut down opponents, and that trend likely won’t change anytime soon. Vegas just doesn’t have any real weaknesses, and this team is built to go on a deep playoff run.
Coyotes Giving Up Goals
The Arizona Coyotes have not been a great defensive team, and that makes their shutout win over Vegas that much more surprising. Arizona has allowed 3.1 goals per game, and that could end up being the reason that they fail to make the postseason.
Goaltender Adin Hill had 25 stops and there is a good chance that he will be back in the net. The Coyotes have been a great team on the penalty kill, but it will take another great defensive effort to win this game.
Phil Kessel leads the Coyotes with 18 goals and 38 total points and he will need to contribute. Center Nick Schmaltz is another important player for Arizona as he has recorded a team-high 22 assists.
Arizona does not want to play this game at a fast pace, and they will be looking to do whatever it takes to slow things down.
Golden Knights Get Back on Track
Arizona was able to keep Vegas off the board on Friday night, which is one of the biggest accomplishments of the season. The Coyotes are not usually known for their defense, but they did everything right in the first meeting.
Look for Vegas to find a way to get back on track in this matchup, and that will spell trouble for Arizona. There are few teams in the NHL with as much depth as the Golden Knights, and they can wear down opponents.
Arizona is fighting for their lives and will keep this game close, but they just won’t have enough in the end. Bet the Vegas Golden Knights -190 over the Arizona Coyotes in this rematch on Saturday night.