Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Game 5 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Montreal Continues To Be Heavy Underdog (June 22)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Robin Lehner (left) and Josh Anderson.
- The best-of-seven series between the Canadiens and Golden Knights returns to Las Vegas on Tuesday night all tied at 2.
- Robin Lehner surprisingly started for Vegas in Game 4 and delivered a fantastic performance, but whether he starts in Game 5 is unknown given Marc-Andre Fleury's stellar play.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matching and delivers her verdict on where bettors can find value.
Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Game 5 Odds
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|Golden Knights Odds||-240|
|Time||Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday and via William Hill|
In a tightly contested playoff series that has featured plenty of twists and turns, what’s next?
The Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights return to T-Mobile Arena in Sin City with their best-of-seven series knotted 2-2.
The Canadiens are relying on assistant coach Luke Richardson to run their bench after head man Dominique Ducharme received a positive COVID-19 test result before Game 3. In Game 4, Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon was absent from his box at the Bell Centre after a positive test of his own.
As of Monday afternoon, no players from either team appeared on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list.
Also, Vegas coach Pete DeBoer gambled and won in Game 4 when he started goaltender Robin Lehner for just the second time in the playoffs instead of presumptive playoff MVP Marc-Andre Fleury.
Who will take the net for the Golden Knights on Tuesday? What other surprises lie ahead? And how long will we go before somebody scores a power-play goal?
The Series So Far
Both teams came into the series riding impressive winning streaks, but Montreal was a significant underdog.
The Canadiens started well in Vegas in Game 1, but penalty trouble prevented them from generating any meaningful offense. They went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and their only goal in the 4-1 loss came with the man advantage. So far, that’s the only power-play goal in the series for either team.
Another strong start in Game 2 allowed Montreal to build a 3-0 lead, then hold on tight for the win that evened the series.
Back in Montreal, but without Ducharme, the Canadiens looked shell-shocked early in Game 3. But goaltender Carey Price helped his team weather the storm, despite being outshot 47-25. Trailing 2-1, an error by Fleury led directly to Josh Anderson’s game-tying goal with 1:55 left in the third period. In overtime, it was the Golden Knights’ turn to go into their shell as Montreal kept pressing. Anderson’s second of the night was the game winner.
In Game 4, Montreal carried the play, holding a 17-2 edge in high-danger scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. Paul Byron opened the scoring late in the second period, on a breakaway at the end of a penalty kill, and Montreal held a 20-12 edge in shots after two periods. But Lehner was a wall, and Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb was able to tuck the puck past Carey Price to tie the game midway through the third.
The two teams squared off for sudden-death overtime for the second-straight game, and this time it was the Golden Knights who came out on top. Nicolas Roy got the bounce for the game winner just 1:18 into the extra frame.
A Look At The Difference-Makers
On Sunday, Lehner was the difference maker, stopping 27 of 28 shots including a breakaway by rookie sniper Cole Caufield midway through the third period. After the game, DeBoer said he decided to make the switch because he thought Fleury seemed fatigued — a 36-year-old who had played more minutes than any other goaltender in the playoffs.
After Lehner’s strong performance, DeBoer has another tough decision to make for Game 5. Does he ride the hot hand and stay with fresh-as-a-daisy Lehner? Or does he go back to his presumably refreshed MVP, Fleury?
DeBoer also teased a potential return for Chandler Stephenson. The coach has been forced to juggle his forwards after losing his top center to an upper-body injury in Game 1. But during his media availability on Monday, he said that Stephenson’s return is “on the horizon.”
Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Pick
Montreal’s wins in Games 2 and 3 and strong play in Game 4 have done nothing to impress the oddsmakers. They have once again made the Golden Knights heavy favorites as the series shifts back to the Vegas Strip on Tuesday.
After going down 0-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in their second-round series, the Golden Knights found another gear when they hit the ice at T-Mobile Arena in front their loud, unwavering fans. Many have expected them to flip the switch in this series as well.
If the speedy Stephenson returns, that would certainly help; he’s the perfect compliment to his ice-cold linemates Max Pacioretty (two assists in the series) and Mark Stone (no points in the series). Give credit to Montreal’s checking center Phillip Danault for his strong matchup work, as well.
We don’t know if Stephenson will be ready to play on Tuesday. And we don’t know what DeBoer’s going to try in net — or if it will work. So don’t rule out an underdog bet on Montreal.
At -240, the oddsmakers at William Hill are giving the Canadiens just a 32.26% chance of winning Game 5. In a series that has been full of twists, turns and surprises, that could offer great value to a bold bettor.
In Round 1, the Canadiens were counted out when the went down 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bit by bit, the moved the needle far enough in their direction to advance. They weren’t given much of a chance against the Winnipeg Jets, either, but barely broke a sweat in that four-game sweep.
This Canadiens team also showed its mettle in the bubble last year, losing just one game as they took out Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the preliminary round. They’re not intimidated by anyone, and they seem to thrive on being underestimated.
Montreal could deliver a tidy payout for backers in Game 5.
Pick: Canadiens +210 (play down to +180)