Vancouver Canucks (43-29-7) at Vegas Golden Knights (46-25-8)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 10:30 pm (Rogers Place)
The Line: Vegas Golden Knights -175 / Vancouver Canucks +155 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
TV: CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSN Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
The Vancouver Canucks and the Vegas Golden Knights meet in game one of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series in NHL action from Rogers Place on Sunday night.
The Vancouver Canucks come into this series fresh off of dethroning the St. Louis Blues in six games with a 6-2 win in the series-clinching victory, posting a victory that was never really in doubt for Van-City. Elias Pettersson is tied for the league lead in playoff points with 13, including 9 assists while J.T. Miller has 5 goals and 5 assists and Quinn Hughes has 10 points as well with 9 assists. Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser also have 8 points apiece for the Canucks, with Horvat leading Vancouver in the goal-scoring department with 6 goals this postseason. Jacob Markstrom’s seen the whole workload in goal for Vancouver this postseason, going 7-3 with a .929 save percentage and 2.44 GAA in these playoffs.
The Vegas Golden Knights come in looking to take down another foe after finishing the Chicago Blackhawks off in five games with a 4-3 win in the series-clinching victory last time out. Mark Stone and Reilly Smith each have a team-high 8 assists with Stone leading the team with 4 goals alongside 4 assists while Smith has a team-high 5 assists with 3 goals. Shea Theodore also has 4 goals with 7 points total while Jonathan Marchessault is also at 7 points, boasting 5 assists of his own. William Kqrlsson has 6 points and Alex Tuch and Nate Schmidt each have 5 points apiece with Tuch posting 4 goals this season. Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury have split the goaltending duties, with Lehner seeing the bulk with a 5-1 record and a .904 save percentage as well as a 2.44 GAA while Fleury has an .886 save percentage and 2.50 GAA this postseason.
Vancouver is 7-2 in their last 9 games overall and 5-1 in their last 3 games following a win while the over is 6-2 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record. Vegas is 21-6 in their last 27 games overall and 14-3 in their last 17 games as a favorite while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams and Vancouver is 2-8 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams as well.
I get why Vegas is favored and I agree with it as I think that Vegas is still one of the league’s most balanced teams across all four forward lines and three defensive pairings. However, I wonder about a little bit of rust for Vegas having closed out their series earlier than Vancouver, and Vegas looked uneasy at times defensively against Chicago. Vancouver hasn’t had time to really rust as it’s been business as usually and carry on for the most part after only closing their series on Friday, so that could be an advantage for the Canucks as strange as that sounds. I’ll lean towards Vancouver and the plus money here but my stronger play is on the total and I have that available as a premium play that you can find here.