Wild vs. Golden Knights Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Vegas to Get Victory in Sin City Clash (Dec. 12)
André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner.
- Minnesota rides an eight-game winning streak into Las Vegas Sunday night.
- The Wild sit atop the Western Conference and seek revenge on a Knights team that knocked them out of last season's playoffs.
- Carol Schram breaks down the game and gives her top pick, below.
Wild vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-132|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Western Conference powerhouses with big playoff aspirations will go head to head Sunday when the Vegas Golden Knights host the Minnesota Wild.
On the heels of an eight-game winning streak which took them to the top of the conference, the Wild are looking to rebound after a Saturday night defeat in Los Angeles.
In the second game of a back-to-back, they’re wrapping up their four-game road trip against the team that bounced them from the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last season, the Wild went 5-1-2 over the Golden Knights in the regular season. However, Vegas got the last laugh, winning a thrilling seven-game, first-round battle.
These teams have met once more since then. Vegas grabbed a 3-2 home win on Nov. 11. Here’s why bettors could expect to see a similar outcome.
This season, the Wild have evolved into a deep team that can get the better of their opponents at both ends of the ice. Kirill Kaprizov leads his club in scoring, with 32 points in 27 games, and Ryan Hartman is on track for a career year after making the switch from right wing to center.
Long saddled with the reputation of being unexciting to watch, the Wild are writing a new chapter in their franchise’s history. They’re tied for second in goals per game (3.77) as of Saturday, and rank seventh in expected goals percent at 5-on-5 (53.12%) and 11th in the high-danger scoring chance ratio at 52.19 percent.
But for all their success this season, the Wild’s special teams are surprisingly mediocre. Minnesota ranks 24th on the power play and 16th on the penalty kill.
In net, Cam Talbot’s 15 wins lead the league, but his personal numbers this season are only slightly better than his career averages. He’s steady, but he’s a product of his team’s success — not the cause of it.
Defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Matt Dumba have both recently returned to the Minnesota lineup after dealing with injury and illness. Jonas Brodin was sidelined Saturday with an upper-body issue.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are wrapping up a homestand where they’ve gone 2-1-0 so far, while acting as streak breakers. After handing the Dallas Stars their first loss in eight games Wednesday, Vegas lost 4-3 to Philadelphia on Friday — the Flyers’ first win in 11 contests.
Preseason favorites to win the Pacific Division, injuries to top stars have kept Vegas in the middle of the pack. Defenseman Alec Martinez remains on the sidelines after his face was cut by a skate the last time Vegas and Minnesota met. Center Chandler Stephenson missed Friday’s game for personal reasons but is expected to be back.
With all the churn in the Golden Knights’ lineup, it’s not easy to get a read on what this team is really about. Early in the season, they struggled to score. Now, they’re sitting seventh overall, averaging 3.38 goals per game. Over the last 10 games, their possession numbers at 5-on-5 have been outstanding. However, their power play is still struggling — ranked 29th overall at just 13.7 percent.
After starting 20 of Vegas’s 26 games this season, Robin Lehner should be well rested when he gets back into the net. His last start was Wednesday, when he was pulled early in the second period after giving up three goals on 10 shots against Dallas. In relief, Laurent Brossoit got that win, then took the loss against the Flyers.
Wild vs. Golden Knights Pick
There’s no love lost between these teams. So, expect another tight, entertaining battle in Las Vegas.
Despite the Wild’s recent hot streak, the Golden Knights are the favorite — and rightfully so. Not only do they have home-ice advantage, they’re also the more rested squad. The Wild are coming off a tough night against the Kings, where the 2-1 final score probably flattered Minnesota when you consider their grim 38.3% Corsi for percentage at 5-on-5 and an expected goals rate of 37.68 percent.
Backup goalie Kaapo Kahkonen took the defeat in Los Angeles, so Talbot should be back in net. Nevertheless, the fresher Golden Knights should have the edge. Back the home team on the money line.
Pick: Golden Knights (-132 | play to -140)