It’s not often that a team rallies from a 3-1 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup Finals, but that will be the hole the expansion Vegas Golden Knights will be facing unless they win as NHL odds underdogs Monday night in Washington.
Golden Knights at Capitals NHL Odds & Game 4 InfoWhen: Monday, 8 PM ET Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC TV: NBC Stream: NBC Sports Live Radio: 98.9 FM (Vegas) / 106.7 FM (Washington) Opening NHL Odds: Capitals -130, Knights +120 (5.5)
Why Bet on Vegas’ NHL Odds?The Golden Knights hadn’t lost back-to-back games in these playoffs – until dropping Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals 3-2 at home to Washington and then losing Game 3 on Saturday at the Capitals, 3-1. Tomas Nosek had the lone goal Saturday. Braden Holtby’s pass from behind his own net was deflected by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare right onto Nosek’s stick who had an open net to get the Golden Knights to within one goal in the opening minutes of the third period. Nosek has scored four goals since Game 4 of the Conference Finals vs. WPG (5 GP), half of his career regular-season total (8 in 84 GP). Jonathan Marchessault has now gone back-to-back games without a point for the first time since the regular-season finale and the playoff opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed three goals on 26 shots in the Game 3 loss. It’s first time that Fleury has suffered back-to-back losses since March 16th and 18th against the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames, respectively. The 33-year-old has now allowed 10 goals through three Finals games and is 13-5 with a 1.95 goals-against-average and a .935 save percentage in these playoffs.
Will the Coach Make Any Changes in the Lineup?Vegas coach Gerard Gallant is considering lineup changes for Game 4. It might mean guys like Tomas Tatar or Oscar Lindberg could see the ice. Tatar has one goal in six playoff games for the Golden Knights, while Lindberg has one helper in three appearances. Gallant might want to shake up his second line. The trio of Perron, James Neal and Erik Haula combined for a minus-9 rating in Game 3. The Knights can take some solace in this: the past three Stanley Cup Finals losers of Game 3 when the series was tied 1-1 have won the Cup. Chicago in 2015 was the most recent.
Why Bet on Washington’s NHL Odds?I picked the Capitals to win this series in six and I’m feeling pretty good about that right now. When the Final has been tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 ultimately has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 77.8% of the time since the series went to the best-of-seven format in 1939 (21-of-27 series). Again, as noted above though, the past three Game 3 winners in that scenario didn’t win the Cup. It’s not a coincidence the Caps have won both games of this series where superstar Alex Ovechkin scored. In Game 3, Evgeny Kuznetsov fired a puck on net, and Marc-Andre Fleury made the initial save before denying John Carlson on the rebound but the puck bounced right out to Ovechkin who put the puck into the open net. It was Ovechkin’s 14th of the postseason, matching a Capitals playoff record for most goals in a single playoff (John Druce). Ovechkin has also tied Evgeni Malkin for the second most goals by a Russian in one playoff and is two off Pavel Bure for first. Ovechkin became is the fourth active NHL player – and 34th in league history – to record 60 career playoff goals (Patrick Marleau: 72 in 184 GP, Sidney Crosby: 66 in 160 GP, Evgeni Malkin: 62 in 158 GP). It was Ovechkin’s 33rd goal in 55 career games (regular season and playoffs) against Fleury, his second-highest total versus any NHL goaltender behind the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (35 in 71 GP).
Who Was Questionable to Play in Game 3?Kuznetsov was questionable to play in Game 3 after leaving Game 2 injured but had a goal and an assist, is sixth multi-point performance of the playoffs, to pad his postseason scoring lead (12-15—27 in 22 GP). Braden Holtby allowed one goal on 22 shots in Game 3. Holtby might have had his third shutout of the post-season but he had a terrible giveaway behind his own net when his pass was deflected by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and ended up right on Tomas Nosek’s stick. Holtby has now won back-to-back games, improving his playoff record to 14-7 with a 2.13 goals-against-average and .922 save percentage. Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik wasn’t able to finish Game 3. He was hit hard by James Neal in the second period on a reverse body check, but didn’t exit the match until just before the midway mark of the third frame. Apparently, Orpik didn’t suffer a head injury but only had the wind knocked out of him. Thus, he should be in there Monday.
Latest Stanley Cup Betting Trends
- Vegas is 13-5 SU in its last 18 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Vegas’s last 5 games
- Washington is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
- Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 6 games