Friday NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights (Oct. 22)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Koskinen, Leon Draisaitl
- The Edmonton Oilers face the Vegas Golden Knights in Friday's NHL showdown.
- Both teams are considered front runners on the Western Conference landscape.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the matchup below and details why he expects plenty of goals.
Oilers vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-135|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Edmonton Oilers face off against the Vegas Golden Knights in what is likely going to be the headliner on Friday night.
The Knights came into the season as the odds-on favorite in the Pacific Division, but Edmonton was right on their heels and after very different opening weeks, you have to wonder which team should be favored now.
Vegas will have a rest advantage with Edmonton playing in Arizona on Thursday night, but the Knights are going to be missing Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, meaning two-thirds of their top line won’t check into The Fortress on Friday.
Regardless of the missing bodies, I still think this game has the right formula for a back-and-forth affair with several scoring chances at both ends.
The Oilers came out of the gates flying with three wins in a row to open the season against the Canucks, Flames and Ducks. It’s not exactly a murderers’ row, but the Oilers scored 14 goals across those three games and that was enough to get tongues wagging in Canada about the Oilers being a legit contender.
Heading into play on Friday, this Oilers team ranks 9th overall in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 situations. Edmonton is also 4th in the NHL in High-Danger Chances For per 60 minutes (HDCF/60), proving that the team is doing a great job at generating scoring opportunities close to the net at even strength.
The Oilers defense has been relatively average through three games but the offense has more than made up for it, both of which bode well for the over.
Despite a strong start, Edmonton is having some sudden issues in net which will likely affect this game as well.
Starting goalie Mike Smith was forced to leave the game early against the Ducks earlier this week and is now on IR with a leg injury. That leaves Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner as the only two options in net for Edmonton.
Koskinen is expected to get the start in this one, but that would be his second start in two straight days. Last season Koskinen was not great in net in his 26 appearances, posting a SV% of .903, a High-Danger SV% of .800, and a -11.1 Goals Saved Above Expected (fifth-worst in NHL).
The other option for Edmonton is Stuart Skinner, who gave up five goals in his lone NHL start.
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas has gotten off to a bit of a bumpy start, but its ability to create scoring opportunities in the offensive zone has been a bright spot for them. The Knights entered play on Friday with the fifth-most goals scored at 5-on-5 and ranked inside the top-10 in xGF/60. Vegas is also 12th in HDCF/60, so there’s nothing alarming about the team’s attack.
However, the defense and goaltending have seen very little success in the early stages of the season.
Robin Lehner is expected to get the start in this one and he has started all three games in net for the Golden Knights, but has struggled up to this point. Lehner has a High-Danger SV% of just .786 and an overall SV% of .900. In addition, Lehner has an xGA of 8.21 which ranks second to last in the NHL.
While Lehner has struggled, all of the blame can’t be placed on him because the defense hasn’t provided much help. Vegas ranks last in the NHL in High-Danger Chances Against per 60 minutes (HDCA/60), giving up 16.53 per game. The Knights are also ranked in the bottom two in xGA/60, showing they have some flaws on that end of the ice.
Oilers vs. Golden Knights Pick
This is the second game of a back-to-back for Edmonton, but the Oilers are still one of the most dangerous offensive attacks in the league and will likely find the back of the net against a struggling defense and goaltender.
The Golden Knights will be skating on fresh legs for this matchup, as this is only their second game in the last eight days. A refreshed Knights team is a dangerous Knights team, one that is capable of taking advantage of the goaltending situation that the Oilers are facing.
Six goals might come across as a little high, but it is a number that can be reached in this matchup, especially since both teams have seen a combined total of at least seven goals in their first three games.
Pick: Over 6 (-120)
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