There’s only one game in the NHL on Thursday, as the Colorado Avalanche travel to Vegas to take on the Golden Knights for Game 6. Colorado trails 3-2 after opening with a 2-0 series lead. The winner of the series will face the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals. The Canadiens have reeled off seven straight wins and haven’t trailed in those games. Even still, the Habs will be heavy underdogs no matter who they play in Round 3.
Below you’ll see a breakdown of the game, including a pick and a couple of shot props to consider.
Colorado Avalanche +120 (DraftKings) at Vegas Golden Knights -135 (PointsBet) - 5.5
The Avs have lost three straight games in the series and find themselves in a must-win situation after winning the first two games by a score of 10-3. Game 1 certainly seems like an outlier when you look at all the matchups between these two teams this season.
Colorado had several days off as they awaited the winner between the Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild. Vegas won a hard-fought seven-game series and had a quick turnaround. It showed in their play as they lost 7-1 in Colorado. It was also the only game in which Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t start.
Vegas has owned the play at 5v5 since Game 2, though, according to Natural Stat Trick:
+37 shot attempts
+11 high-danger chances
+41 scoring chances
+ 4 goals
Vegas returns home where it had a league-high 19 wins during the regular season. T-Mobile Arena has been a tough place for many opposing teams to play, especially the Avalanche as they were dominated in Game 3 and 4.
+32 shot attempts
+23 high-danger chances
+33 scoring chances
Vegas had 33 more scoring chances than the Avalanche and the Golden Knights held Colorado to a sub 2 xGF rate in each of those two games, something that didn’t happen once in the regular season.
While I expect a full effort from Colorado, it’ll still be without Nazem Kadri as he serves the final game of his eight-game suspension. The Avs didn’t seem to miss Kadri the first few games, but his absence has been on full display in the second round.
The Golden Knights have too much firepower on offense, and their experience on the blue line has been a big factor in the series. Fleury has allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his 11 starts against Colorado this season, and he’s only allowed them to score more than three goals once (March 27).
Nine of the 13 games between these teams this season have gone under the 5.5 number, including three of the five games in the playoffs. This is a trend I think we can continue to attack.
Prediction: 3-2, Vegas
Best Bet: Under
Props: Alex Pietrangelo O 2.5 SOG; Mikko Rantanen O 2.5 SOG; Max Pacioretty O 2.5 SOG