Vegas Golden Knights (50–19–5) at Montreal Canadiens (35-25-12)
The Cinderella Canadiens are one game away from going to the ball, the Stanley Cup finals, after winning Game 5 in Sin City to take a 3-2 series lead over the heavily favored Golden Knights.
Once again, the Golden Knights are the betting favorite, as they have been in every game in the series, posted at -140 with the Canadiens at +120 and a total of five goals.
The Golden Knights were tied for the most points in the regular season and they have their backs against the wall down 3-2 in this series. In the regular season they ranked third in the league in goals per game (3.39) but they have not scored more than two goals in the last four games of this series and only scored one in the 4-1 loss in Game 5.
The Canadiens are one win away from another shocker and their defense has been great in this series. In the regular season they averaged 2.77 goals per game but have scored at least three goals in three of the last four games of this series. That is even more impressive facing a Vegas team that led the league this season only giving up an average of 2.18 goals per game.
Montreal is 8-2 in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog.
Find the Attack
The Golden Knights have only scored three goals in the last two games of this series and in the 4-1 Game 5 loss they outshot the Canadiens 27-26. The team was down 3-0 before Max Pacioretty scored the lone goal.
Vegas went back to starter Marc-Andre Fleury (26-10-0 1.98 GAA regular season) in the Game 5 loss where he gave up three goals on 25 shots. Robin Lehner (13-4-2 2.29 GAA) got the start in the previous game, only his second of the playoffs, and only gave up one goal in the Vegas win.A starter has not been named for Game 6.
Jonathan Marchessault leads Vegas in the post-season with six goals but in this series he has no goals and only one assist in the five games. William Karlson leads the team with 14 points (4 goals 10 assists) and in this series he does have three assists but no goals.
While the Golden Knights are 9-1 in their last 10 games following a loss of three or more goals, they have lost four of their last five road games.
Great All-Around Game
The Canadiens had a solid all-around game in the 4-1 win in Game 5 win where they scored the most goals they had in the series and were up 3-0 before giving up the only goal.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Eric Staal, and Cole Caufield all scored before the halfway mark in the second period and Nick Suzuki scored an empty net goal for his fifth goal of the playoffs.
Carey Price (12-7-5 2.64 GAA regular season) turned away 26 of 27 shots in the last game and he is one of the main reasons the Canadiens have Vegas on the verge of elimination. He ranks second in the playoffs with a GAA of 2.02 and he has not allowed more than two goals in the last four games of this series.
Montreal has had good balance on the attack in the playoffs, as Tyler Toffoli, Joel Armia, Kotkaniemi,, and Suzuki all share the team lead with five goals.
The Canadiens have won four of their last five road games and have won seven of their last nine games following a win.
The Golden Knights have not looked like themselves in this series on both sides of the ice. Their league leading defense has given up at least three goals in three of the last four games and they have not scored more than two goals since their 4-1 win in the series opener. I do not see that changing in this game facing a Montreal team playing at home and with a ton of confidence. I do not see them scoring four goals again but they will play great D again and win and close out this series.
PICK: Canadiens +120