NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Stars Game 3 (Tuesday, May 23)
Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: The Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars during their Western Conference finals series.
Golden Knights vs. Stars Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||+120|
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Dallas Stars will look to shake off an agonizing Game 2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. The Stars played a near perfect road game but collapsed late, as Jonathan Marchessault tied it late in the third before Chandler Stephenson put it away.
The Stars’ strong Game 2 performance is seemingly being respected by the betting market. Dallas, which opened at around -130 on most sportsbooks, is now sitting at -140 or worse.
Let’s get to the NHL odds, preview and prediction for Golden Knights vs. Stars Game 3 in the Western Conference finals.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Knights deserve a ton of credit for arriving in the Western Conference Finals with a goaltender who is, on paper, their fourth option.
Their deep core of talented two-way forwards, combined with a heavy and mobile defensive unit, has led to elite results at even strength. The Knights have played to a 52.39 expected goals rating this postseason at even strength, which is quite impressive considering eight of those contests came against Oilers and Stars teams that had been dominant.
The Knights were entirely flat offensively in Game 2 until Marchessault’s surprising late breakthrough. Vegas generated just 22 shots on goal through regulation but managed to hang around and grab an opportunistic win.
It’s logical to believe that if Vegas cannot bounce back with a better performance at even strength in Game 3, that could mean a worse result.
Special teams play has been a concern for the Knights this postseason. They rank 10th with an 18.6% power play and 14th with a penalty kill of just 68.6%. It’s worth noting, however, that sample does include six games versus Edmonton.
Adin Hill will start in goal for the Knights on Tuesday. Hill has played to a +3.7 GSAx and .930 save in seven appearances this postseason. In 27 regular season appearances, he played to a +0.9 GSAx and .914 save %.
While his postseason dominance is surprising, goaltending is tough to project. More importantly than that though, the Knights have insulated him well with tremendous defensive play.
Dallas was the trendy pick to win this series by the majority of fans and analysts. It was highly conceivable these two sides would play relatively even hockey, and that eventually the Stars owning the better goaltender in Jake Oettinger would pay off.
By no means has Oettinger been bad, but he has yet to offer an edge over Hill.
Dallas has played to a 52.39% expected goals rating in the series, yet heads home in a two-game hole. The Stars were the better side in Game 2 by some margin, but they could not extend the lead and collapsed late behind a Ryan Suter breakdown.
Based upon a larger sample of the Stars’ play, they should be able to build upon that Game 2 performance.
It’s fair to say their top line of Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson is still the best line from either side. That could be an edge which shines through more on this spot in home ice.
The Stars’ power play has also clicked only once to this point in the series but should still be viewed as a strength to watch out for. It’s typically quite hard to insulate weak goaltending on the penalty kill, as shooters will often end up with more unpressured shots.
Oettinger will start in goal Tuesday. He has played to a -4.5 GSAx and .901 save % in 15 playoff appearances.
Golden Knights vs. Stars Pick
This sets up as a good time to back the Stars to get back into the series on home ice. If they can bring a similar performance to what we saw in Game 2, it should garner a winning result much of the time. I expect Dallas to own slightly more of the quality chances tonight, and in theory, Oettinger does provide a goaltending edge over Hill.
As we have seen all playoffs long, though, the margin between winning and losing is extremely close, which is an important note handicapping wise.
Reaching to bet Dallas past -145 likely would not yield strong long-term results, even if it seems to be a spot where it can make it a series.
If you are someone who feels you want a little piece of the Stars to come back and march to the Cup Final, Roope Hintz to win the Conn Smythe at +2000 would be my favorite way to attack that angle.
Jack Eichel to record under 3.5 shots on goal at -125 is another look I’m interested in. He’s recorded just seven shots so far in the series from nine attempts. Now he will likely spend more minutes against the Heiskanen pairing at even strength.
The Pick: Dallas Stars Moneyline to -145, Jack Eichel Under 3.5 Shots on Goal -125
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