The Vegas Golden Knights go into Game 4 of the Series with a 2-1 lead but can the Vancouver Canucks mount a come back tonight?
Puck drop is at 10:30 EST in Edmonton, Alberta on NBCSN
The Vegas Golden Knights were able to weather the first period storm from Vancouver in Game 3 and then took control to take a 2-1 series lead with a 3-0 shutout victory.
Goaltender, Robin Lehner, came back with a great bounce back getting his second shutout of the series and stopped 32 shots. Lehner is now 7-2 as the starting goaltender in the restart of the bubble. Jacob Markstrom finished with 31 saves for Vancouver in defeat.
On paper, the Canucks were the better team during the first period. Unfortunately for Vancouver, Vegas ended that opening frame up 2-0 on the scoreboard, though.
Alex Tuch got his seventh goal of the postseason scoring 4:05 of the first period. Just 83 seconds later, it was 2-0 when Zack Whitecloud scored. The ultimate deflating moment of the period was when Vancouver had a 5-on-3 power play and could not convert. The energy Vancouver had vanished.
As much attention as Antonine Roussel garners, the Canucks haven’t really enjoyed much of an impact from supporting cast members. During most playoff runs, you need more than just your big stars to come through. Especially when Vegas has two “x-factor’s” like Alex Tuch and Mark Stone both playing at a high level.
The first period has been pivotal in the series so far with the team winning the first period ultimately being the victor. Both teams have placed an emphasis on a fast-start. Now, both teams will have a quick turnaround by playing the second of a back-to-back tonight.
The teams had not played since Tuesday after the NHL and the players did not play Thursday or Fridays games to make a statement to highlight the issues of social injustice, systemic racism and police brutality.
Predictions & Picks
Line: Vancouver Canucks (+180) vs Vegas Golden Knights (-210)
As for my picks, I went 1 for 2 by getting the regular time line correctly with the Vegas Golden Knights victory in regulation. Meanwhile, I got the over incorrect due to the 3-0 result where I was surprised that Vancouver could not capitalize on their chances.
I like the Golden Knights again in regulation here as they will want to try and almost put this series away. A 3-1 series lead is much different than a 2-2 tie. The second pick I like is over 1.5 in the first period because there have been multiple scores in the first period in all three games and both teams have shown urgency to get off to a fast start.
Picks: Vegas Golden Knights (Regular Time Line) (-132) & First Period Goals Over 1.5 (-136)
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 want to take a commanding series lead.
Meanwhile, the first period has been paramount in all three games and I expect more of the same in Game 4 especially in a back-to-back. Fatigue may play a role tonight so a quick start is needed for both teams.