The NHL’s second round of the playoffs have kicked off and should be filled with plenty of action on Tuesday night. Two games will be up on the board throughout Tuesday. One of the matchups will be between the Vancouver Canucks and the Vegas Golden Knights. These two teams will meet up at around 9:45 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
Vancouver finished out the regular season with a record of 36-27-6, which had them in seventh place of the Western Conference. The Canucks knocked off the Minnesota Wild in the Qualifying round. Vancouver then met up with the St. Louis Blues in the first round and knocked them off in six games. The Canucks are now looking to tie up this series with Vegas.
The Golden Knights earned a record of 39-24-8 in the regular season, which secured them a spot in the round robin. Vegas then went 3-0 throughout the round robin games to secure the top spot in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights met up with the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and won in five games. Vegas will look to take a 2-0 series lead with a win on Tuesday night.
These two teams have battled to get to this point in the playoffs, which should lead to a great series. The Canucks had a strong first round series to knock off the defending Stanley Cup Champions, while Vegas knocked off a surprising Chicago team. Both teams will look to knock each other off to secure a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
The Canucks and the Golden Knights met up twice in the regular season. The first game was on December 15 in Vegas. Brock Boeser scored a goal and an assist, but it was not enough. Max Pacioretty scored two goals and two assists for the Golden Knights. Shea Theodore had three assists, while Mark Stone had a goal and an assist as Vegas won 6-3.
The second game of the season series was on December 19 in Vancouver. Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Mark Stone all had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Elias Pettersson scored twice, while Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen both had two assists as the Canucks were able to bounce back with a win. Jacob Markstrom stopped 39 of 43 shots as the Canucks won 5-4 in overtime.
Game 1 of this series was on August 23. Jonathan Marchessault opened up the scoring for the Golden Knights. Reilly Smith, Mark Stone and Alex Tuch all had a goal and an assist to propel Vegas to the win. Shea Theodore added another two assists, while Robin Lehner stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Golden Knights won 5-0 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Vegas was able to put up a dominant victory in two of the three times these teams have met over the regular season and postseason. The Canucks took one win in the regular season, but needed overtime to finish off the Golden Knights. Vegas will look to keep up the momentum from Game 1 of this series to take Game 2 as well.
The Canucks had a solid special team unit throughout the regular season. Vancouver capitalized on 24.2 percent of their power play chances, while killing off 80.5 percent of their opponent’s power plays this season. The Canucks have done well on special teams this postseason as well. Vancouver has scored on 25.6 percent of their power play opportunities, while killing off 80 percent of the penalties against them this postseason.
Vegas had put up a strong power play throughout the regular season as well. The Golden Knights were able to tally on 22 percent of their power play attempts, but only killed off 76.6 percent of the penalties against them. The Golden Knights have been strong on special teams in the playoffs though, capitalizing on 20.8 percent of their chances, while posting an 87 percent kill rate.
These two teams have been dangerous on special teams throughout the postseason. The Golden Knights have had the better penalty kill, while Vancouver’s power play has been even more dangerous. The Canucks went 0-1 on their power play in Game 1, while the Golden Knights finished 1-3 on the power play.
Jacob Markstrom will get the nod in crease for the Canucks in this one on Tuesday night. Markstrom put up a record of 23-16-4 throughout the regular season. He has posted a save percentage of .918 and a 2.75 GAA throughout those performances. In the playoffs, Markstrom has earned a .922 save percentage and a GAA of 2.70.
Robin Lehner will likely get the start in net for the Golden Knights in Game 2 of this series. Lehner went 19-10-5 throughout the regular season. He posted a .920 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA with Chicago and Vegas this season. Since the playoffs began, Lehner has put up a save percentage of .918 and a GAA of 2.10.
These two goalies have done well throughout the playoffs, but it has been Markstrom who has been slightly stronger. Markstrom had a rough start in Game 1 of this series, but I expect him to bounce back in this one. If Markstrom can bounce back in this game, it could give the Canucks a good chance to tie up the series.
The Golden Knights dominated Game 1 of this series on August 23, but I believe that the Canucks have a chance to bounce back. Vancouver could not solve Robin Lehner in Game 1 of this series, but Lehner will not be able to shut them out for the entire series. If the Canucks can get some offense going early in this one, they should be able to get a good chance to tie up the series.
BetOnline has Vegas listed as a -205 against the money line for this one. This implies that the Golden Knights will win this game around 67.2 percent of the time. Vegas dominated Game 1 of this series, but I do not think they should be favored by this much. The Canucks have a strong team and I expect them to bounce back in this one.