Blaine Spencer previews Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals between the Canucks and Golden Knights and shares his picks as Vegas lead the series 3-1.
Puck drop is, Tuesday, September 1st at 9:45 EST in Edmonton, Alberta on NBCSN.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 5 Preview
In the first matchup where momentum switched from period to period, the Vegas Golden Knights were able to have the third period surge with three goals to rally past the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Sunday night in a crucial game 4. The Golden Knights now have a 3-1 series lead with the opportunity to book a spot in the Western Conference Finals in Game 5.
The star of the night was Max Pacioretty who scored twice and added an assist. Pacioretty seems to have finally found his legs after coming back from an injury he picked up in training camp before the restart. He returned in the last series against the Blackhawks but had little impact.
The game saw two lead changes where there weren’t any lead changes in the first three games where the team who struck first ended up coming out on top. After the first, Vegas led 2-1 but then trailed 3-2 after the second. The Golden Knights showed urgency in the third and were able to score early in the third to tie it.
Nate Schmidt scored from a slap-shot early in the third and Pacioretty scored the game-winner midway through the third. William Karlsson scored an insurance goal late in the third to seal the victory.
The most interesting change was the start that Marc Andre Fleury got over Robin Lehner who had posted two shutouts already in the series. Lehner did play 24 hours earlier but after the shutout victory, many were surprised. Expect Lehner back in goal for Game 5.
The Canucks led by Bo Horvat and Tyler Toffoli helped make their second period surge to take the lead. However, they were unable to match the intensity Vegas showed in the third.
The Canucks will need to get off to a fast start in order to stave off elimination. Vegas is starting to smell blood in the water and know this is great opportunity to close out the series. I think this Game 5 will show similar changes of momentum like Game 4.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 5 Predictions & Picks
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Line: Vancouver Canucks (+188) vs Vegas Golden Knights (-230)
As for my picks, I got both correct thanks to the late surge by the Golden Knights in the third period. The first period continues to be a sign of where both teams have showcased their ability to score with three total goals in Game 4.
The Knights have out-chanced and outshot Vancouver in every game this series. The only chance Vancouver has is if goalie Jacob Markstrom has a heroic performance which is possible but unlikely.
The Canucks won’t be going down without a fight but it’s tough to bet against Vegas right now given the level they’re playing at. Vancouver will put up a valiant effort but I think will come up short. The moneyline is high so I like the regular time line again at better odds.
Pick 1: Vegas Golden Knights (Regular Time Line) (-139)
Pick 2: Both teams to score in Period 1 (+180)
Unfortunately, one is unable to parlay these separate bets but I do like both of them. I don’t believe this game will go to overtime as Vegas will close out the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Meanwhile, the first period has been paramount in every game and I see both teams coming to play with extreme desperation. Both teams scored in Game 4 and I like the same in Game 5. This game will be tight and come down to the third period.