NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Bruins (Dec. 14)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Bruins standout Brad Marchand.
Golden Knights vs. Bruins Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||+115|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Vegas Golden Knights hit the road for what is the start of a four-game road trip on Tuesday to face off against the Boston Bruins.
Vegas enters this battle coming off of a 6-4 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Knights are now 16-11 overall and in fourth in the Pacific Division. Boston has found some success recently as well, winning their most recent two games as they sit in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 14-8-2.
Vegas is one of the more lethal offensive attacks in the league this season, but Boston has been fantastic on the defensive end of the ice and will present a challenge. Can Vegas overcome that tough defense and manage to find the back of the net, or will Boston defend their home ice and build on their winning streak?
Vegas Golden Knights
There is one thing for certain when it comes to this Knights squad–they can flat out score the puck.
In 5-on-5 situations this year, Vegas has managed to put the puck in the back of the net a total of 67 times, the third-most in the NHL behind only the Capitals and the Wild. Furthermore, the Knights register an average of 3.06 goals per 60 minutes in 5-on-5, another offensive metric where they rank among the top five.
The Knights score plenty of goals because they are great at giving themselves high-percentage looks. On the season, Vegas averages just under 13 High-Danger Chances per 60 minutes and is putting an average of 33.8 shots on goal per game, which is a great recipe for goals.
While this is easily one of the most fluid scoring attacks in the NHL, they have not been able to stop many of their opponents from scoring the puck.
The Vegas defense has a lot of holes in it, and as a result, they have given up the sixth-most total goals in 5-on-5 with 59. Furthermore, this Knights team ranks in the bottom three in both Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) and High-Danger Chances Against per 60 minutes (HDCA/60), further proving they struggle to keep pucks in front.
Robin Lehner is expected to make the start in net, and in 5-on-5 this season he has an SV % of .909, High Danger SV % of .794, and 0.5 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
As previously mentioned, the Bruins will be entering this game riding a two-game winning streak. Those two wins have been rather impressive, beating the Oilers by a score of 3-2 last Thursday and the Flames 4-2 on Saturday.
As evidenced by those two games, Boston relies heavily on their defense to get the job done, and this has worked in their favor several times this season.
The Bruins are at the top of the league in several defensive metrics in 5-on-5 situations, including xGA/60 (1.98) and HDCA/60 (8.03), where they rank number one. Furthermore, they have only surrendered a total of 40 goals in 5-on-5 and have not allowed their opponent to score more than two goals in any of their last seven games.
Defensively they have been beyond impressive, but scoring the puck has become a slight issue for this squad. In 5-on-5 they have scored just 42 total goals this season, but they do rank eighth overall in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes with 2.53, which could be a sign that more goals are coming their way.
No starter has been named in net, so Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman could get the nod. In 5-on-5, Ullmark has an SV % of .927 and -1.2 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), while Swayman has an SV % of .925 and 1.6 GSAx.
Golden Knights vs. Bruins Pick
The Bruins appear to have found some momentum when it comes to scoring the puck, and now they get a great matchup against a soft Vegas defense.
The Knights can clearly score the puck, but they have put a lot of stock in the idea that they are strong enough on that end of the ice to outscore anyone. However, the goaltending and defense of Boston has stood tall recently by allowing just 1.86 goals per game over their last seven games. That is the more likely trend to continue on Tuesday.
Boston has had two days of rest, and after this game they will begin a three-game road trip, so a win here is crucial. I expect them to defend their home ice and keep the Vegas offense in check.
Pick: Boston Bruins ML (-135)