Tonight’s NHL slate only features one game, and it could be the final game of the second round. Will the Vegas Golden Knights make it four straight wins and advance to the conference finals? Or will the Colorado Avalanche figure things out and bring the series back home for Game 7?
Here’s my top bet for Game 6:
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Vegas Golden Knights (-135) vs. Colorado Avalanche
Remember when Colorado kicked the daylights out of the Knights in Game 1, thumping them 7-1? Well, it turns out that was an enormous fluke. The Avalanche were the better team in Game 1 in terms of expected goals, but Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner was the main reason for the massive loss.
Vegas reinserted Marc Andre-Fleury between the pipes after that Game 1 debacle and have been the better team ever since, especially on home ice. In Game 3, Vegas won the expected goals battle at even strength, 3.76-1.09, and they had 15 high-danger chances to Colorado’s four. In Game 4, Vegas held a 2.67-1.22 advantage in 5-on-5 expected goals and generated a whopping 17 high-danger chances. They did so while limiting Colorado to only five.
But in Game 5, it seemed as if Colorado was poised to seize momentum back. They held a 2-0 lead heading into the third period before Vegas stormed back to win the game on a Mark Stone overtime goal, stunning the Stanley Cup favorites.
Some might say a +120 price tag on a team as talented as the Avalanche is a buy-low opportunity. But with Vegas dictating matchups at home with the last line change, it’s hard to envision Colorado extending this series. We’ve seen the Islanders, Canadiens, and Lightning all take care of business in close-out situations this round. Bet on the Golden Knights to dictate play and do the same.
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