Friday night in Las Vegas already is a crazy event regardless. Now throw in the fact that the city’s lone professional sports team, the Vegas Golden Knights, could move one win from the Stanley Cup Finals by beating Winnipeg in Game 4 of the West Finals. MyBookie have the Knights as slight NHL odds favorites.
How to Bet Jets at Golden Knights NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info
When: Friday, 8 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: 1290 AM (Winnipeg) / 1340 AM (Vegas)
Opening NHL Lines: Knights -123, Jets +111 (5.5)
Why Bet on Winnipeg?
The Jets have lost back-to-back games for the first time not just in these playoffs but since March 10-13 at Philadelphia, at Washington and at Nashville. Actually, Winnipeg was probably the better team in Game 2 but lost 4-2 to Vegas.
Mark Scheifele scored a pair of goals in the loss. Scheifele tied the game at 1-1 at the 5:28 mark of the second period, but Vegas’ James Neal restored his team’s lead just 12 seconds later. The Jets forward then added a third-period tally to cut his team’s deficit to 3-2, but that’s as close as they’d come to tying the game. Scheifele finished the night with four penalty minutes and five shots on goal in 20:10 of ice time. The 25-year-old has scored five times in his last four contests. He’s up to 14 goals and six assists in 15 games this postseason.
Scheifele scored his 10th and 11th road goals of these playoffs to establish an NHL record for the most such goals in a single postseason, breaking the previous mark of 10 set by Joe Mullen in 1989 with the Flames and matched by Sidney Crosby in 2009 with the Penguins. Scheifele, who scored seven road goals during the regular season (28 GP), leads the playoffs with 14 goals overall, equaling the most by any player in an entire postseason since 2009 when Sidney Crosby scored 15 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins (24 GP).
Scheifele also had his ninth multi-point game of the postseason, becoming the first player to collect nine such contests in a single Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2010. Mario Lemieux set the NHL record when he collected 14 such outings in leading the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.
Blake Wheeler registered two more assists in the loss. The Jets captain finished the night with an even rating, two penalty minutes, three shots on goal and four hits in 20:35 of ice time. The 31-year-old now has three goals and a league-high 17 assists in 15 games this postseason. Wheeler leads these playoffs with those 17 assists, two shy of the leader’s total from the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pittsburgh’s Crosby.
Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 26 of 29 shots. Hellebuyck allowed the game’s first goal 35 seconds into the opening period. A terrible giveaway by the Vezina Trophy-nominated goaltender behind the Jets’ net in the second period led directly to the Knights’ second goal of the game and it couldn’t have come at a worse time, just 12 seconds after the Jets had finally tied up the game. Hellebuyck owns a 9-6 record with a 2.34 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage this postseason.
Since scoring three times in fewer than eight minutes of the series opener, the Jets have given up the first goal in consecutive games. The Jets were forced to make an unexpected lineup change in Game 3 when forward Nikolaj Ehlers was unable to play because of an undisclosed ailment, inserting Jack Roslovic for the first time since Game 3 against the Nashville Predators last round.
Why Bet on Vegas?
The Knights, incidentally, are the only team left standing that hasn’t dropped back-to-back games in these playoffs. Jonathan Marchessault scored a pair of goals in Wednesday’s win. Marchessault was quiet in Game 1 (he had two assists but only one shot), but he’s been terrific in back-to-back games since then. The Golden Knights forward opened the scoring just 35 seconds into the game and he added an empty-netter with seconds remaining in regulation. He became the first player in NHL history to score a goal in both the first and last minute of the same playoff game.
The 27-year-old has picked up two points in each game in this series. He’s up to eight goals and 17 points in 13 games this postseason. Marchessault is one point shy of matching the NHL record for the most by a player in his team’s first postseason appearance. Jude Drouin (6-12—18) set the benchmark in 1975 with the Islanders and Igor Larionov (5-13—18) equaled the total in 1996 with the Sharks. Only two players have scored more goals than Marchessault for a club making its first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dave Lowry netted 10 goals in 1996 for the Panthers (22 GP) and Marian Gaborik scored nine goals in 2003 for the Wild (18 GP).
James Neal picked up a goal and an assist in the win, snapping a three-game pointless drought. He left the game momentarily after taking an elbow from Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, but he managed to clear concussion protocol. Neal finished the night with a plus-3 rating, five shots on goal and one hit in 12:53 of ice time. The 30-year-old is up to four goals and five assists in 13 games this postseason.
Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 33 of 35 shots and was stellar, especially in the third period when he turned aside 15 of the 16 shots directed his way. With his team up 3-2 midway through the third frame, the veteran made two incredible saves on Mark Scheifele to keep his team ahead. It was Fleury’s 72nd career win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fleury surpassed Jacques Plante for sole possession of ninth place on the NHL’s all-time list playoff wins list, moving within two of tying Chris Osgood (74).
When a conference finals or semifinals series is tied 1-1 (since 1974-75), the winner of Game 3 holds an all-time series record of 35-8 (81.4%).
Latest NHL Betting Trends
- Winnipeg is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games
- Winnipeg is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Winnipeg’s last 5 games on the road
- Vegas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
- Vegas is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Vegas’s last 5 games at home
Expert NHL Betting Prediction
Think the over 5.5 goals is the best bet here, but I’m taking Winnipeg to even things up.