Whether losing by a little or a lot, the Vegas Golden Knights find themselves down 2-0 in their West Division final showdown with the Colorado Avalanche as the series shifts to Nevada for Friday’s Game 3. The Golden Knights (44-17-4 SU, 32-31-2 O/U) need to rally after dropping 7-1 and 3-2 decisions to the powerhouse Avs (45-13-4 SU, 31-30-1 O/U) in the first two games in Colorado.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The Golden Knights kicked off the betting cycle as slim -115 favorites, but those odds have flipped in favor of the Avalanche at -115. The total is set at 5.5, with the UNDER at -115 and the OVER at -105.
Colorado News & Notes
After completely trouncing the Golden Knights in a Game 1 laugher, the Avalanche were expecting a much more competitive contest in Game 2 – and that’s exactly what they got. They were outshot by a 41-25 margin and were dominated in the faceoff circle, but still came away with their 10th straight win on the strength of 39 saves from Philipp Grubauer and the OT Sportsbook from Mikko Rantanen.
Grubauer will likely be the key to the Avs’ success over the next two games at T-Mobile Arena. He made life miserable for the high-powered Vegas offense during the regular season, posting a 4-2-1 record with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in seven meetings, and has held the Golden Knights to three goals on 66 shots in the first two games of the series.
Vegas News & Notes
The Golden Knights have to feel a bit deflated after carrying the play against the host Avalanche, only to surrender a power-play opportunity that led to the game-winning goal after Reilly Smith slashed the stick out of Rantanen’s hands on a faceoff. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer didn’t mince words after the game, labeling it “a soft call.”
Yet while the Avalanche did well to hang on to home-ice advantage, the Golden Knights appear to be in decent position to return the favor in Games 3 and 4. They own a sensational 23-6-3 mark at T-Mobile Arena for the season, including a 2-1-1 mark in their seven-game first-round marathon vs Minnesota. That said, Colorado has won four of its past six visits to Nevada.
Betting Pick: Vegas (-105)
The Golden Knights were the better team in Game 2, and have played sensational hockey in their own arena this season. With the series effectively on the line Friday, expect Vegas to play with urgency and come away with the W.
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