Vegas Golden Knights (42-15-3) at Minnesota Wild (36-18-5)
The Wild staved off elimination with a win in Vegas in the last game and look to even the series back at home.
(This Wednesday game preview was posted on Tuesday with odds not out yet, but they will be posted soon).
The Golden Knight had won three in a row in this series before losing Game 5. The club had scored 12 goals in the three wins before the last game where they scored two goals in a 4-2 loss. Vegas won both games of this series in Minnesota where they outscored the Wild 9-2.
Vegas is 8-2 in their last 10 road games and have taken both road games in this series.
The Wild won Game 5 but are still down 3-2 in this West Division playoff series. They had only scored four goals in the first four games of the series before scoring four in the last game.
Not the Same Defense
After Vegas played great defense in the first four games of this series that was not the case in the 4-2 Game 5 loss. They scored the first goal of the game in the first period but then gave up three unanswered goals in the period. The Golden Knights got within one goal in the second period but were blanked the rest of the game.
Mark Stone and Alec Martinez each lit the lamp in the losing effort.
The Golden Knights lost even though they outshot the Wild 40-14.
Marc-Andre Fleury (26-10-0 1.98 GAA), who ranked third in the league in GAA on the season and still ranks first in the playoffs (1.40), did not have a good game in net at all giving up three goals on 13 shots. He has started all five games in this series, and he will likely go in this game.
Robin Lehner (13-4-2 2.29 GAA) may get the starting nod but the Golden Knights have lost three of his last four starts and in that span faced the Wild on the road and was peppered giving up six goals in a wild, no pun intended, 6-5 loss.
Mark Stone has scored four goals in this series and all of them have come in the last three games. Alex Tuch has three goals and he and Reilly Smith each have three points.
Dating back to the regular season the Golden Knight have won their last three road games against the Wild. On the season Vegas is 21-9-0 on the road.
Turning It Around
After the Wild attack struggled in the first four games of this series and their D did the same in the last three games the Wild turned it around in the last game beating Vegas 4-2. The defense stepped up only allowing two goals on 40 shots while they scored four goals on only 14 shots.
Four different players for the Wild scored a goal in Game 5 and Cam Talbott (19-8-5 2.63 GAA) stopped 38 of 40 shots. He has started every game in this series and in the three games before Game 5 he had given up 10 goals. He played well in between the pipes and I look for him to go in this game and if he does not Kaapo Kahkonen (16-8-0) will get the nod and he was lit up for seven goals in his last start.
Joel Eriksson Ek is the only player with more than one goal in this series with two and Jordan Greenway, Jonas Brodin, and Matt Dumba all have three points.
Kirill Kaprizov led the Wild this season in goals (27) and points (51) and he scored in the last game and has a goal and an assist in this series.
While the Wild have won 20 of their last 26 games on home ice they have lost both home games in this series.
The Wild turned things around in the last game to stay alive in this series but their season will come to an end in this game. They scored four goals on only 14 shots in Game 5 while only allowing two goals on 40 shots. Vegas will pepper Minnesota again but play better on both sides of the ice and look for Fleury to play like he did in the first four games. The Golden Knights will win this game convincingly and head to the next round of the playoffs sending the Wild packing.
PICK: Golden Knights