The NHL is set up with a great night of action throughout Monday. Eight games will be up on the board for the night of February 22. One of these games will be between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche. These two teams have had strong starts to this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Golden Knights have put up a record of 10-4-1 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in second place of the West Division. Vegas is coming off back to back losses and will look to turn it around in this one. The Golden Knights are one point back from the top spot in the West and will look to move up the standings with a win in this one.
Colorado has started out this season with a record of 9-4-1, which has them sitting in the third seed in the West Division. The Avalanche are two points behind Vegas and will look to tie them with a win in this one. The Avalanche have won two straight games and five straight games at home. Colorado will look to keep that up in this one.
These two teams are battling it out in the top of the West Division, which should lead to another great game on Monday night. This will be the fourth straight game between these two teams, which should add to the intensity of an already great matchup. If either team can have a strong start in this one, they could get the much needed win.
The Golden Knights and the Avalanche have met up three times so far this season. Vegas hosted the first game on February 14. Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 of 24 shots for Colorado, but it was not enough in this one. Max Pacioretty scored the lone goal in the second period. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 30 shots he faced as the Avalanche won 1-0.
Vegas also hosted the second game of the season series on February 16. William Karlsson had two assists, while Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty scored. It was not enough for the Golden Knights though. Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist. Joonas Donskoi had two assists as well in this one. Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 of 29 shots as the Avalanche won 3-2.
The third game of the season series was part of the outdoor games at Lake Tahoe. Alec Martinez and Alex Tuch both scored for Vegas in this one, but the Golden Knights could not get the win. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, while Devon Toews had a goal and an assist. Mikko Rantanen finished with two assists as Colorado grabbed another 3-2 win.
The Avalanche have won two games against Vegas after losing the first game of the season series. Colorado won two games against the Golden Knights during the regular season last season, but Vegas won in the seeding round. I expect both teams to try and come out quickly in this one as they meet in another tight matchup.
The Golden Knights have struggled on the power play this season, but their penalty kill has been really strong. Vegas has scored on 9 of their 49 power play chances, which is an 18.4 percent success rate. The Golden Knights have killed off 40 of the 46 penalties against them, which is an 87 percent penalty kill. Vegas will look to break through on the power play in this one.
Colorado has been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. The Avalanche have been able to capitalize on 14 of their 60 power play opportunities, which is a 23.3 percent power play. Colorado has given up 5 goals on their opponents 48 power play attempts, which is an 89.6 percent kill rate.
These two teams have been really strong on the penalty kill this season. The Avalanche have the edge in this one though with their power play. Colorado will look to use this to their advantage on Monday night. If Vegas can get some power play goals on Monday night, it could be enough to help them breakthrough in this one.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the nod in the crease for the Golden Knights in this one. Fleury has started in 10 games this season, going 7-3 in those starts. He has put up a .935 save percentage and a GAA of 1.71 so far this season. Fleury’s last start was against the Avalanche on Saturday, where he stopped 36 of 39 shots in the loss.
I expect Philipp Grubauer to get the start in the net for Colorado on Monday night. Grubauer has gone 9-3 throughout his 12 starts so far this season. He has posted a save percentage of .936 and a 1.67 GAA in those starts. Grubauer finished with 27 saves on 29 shots in Saturday’s game against Vegas. Grubauer will look to keep up his success against the Golden Knights in this one.
These two goalies have both had really strong starts to this season. Both goalies have played well throughout this three game series between each other. Fleury has done a great job jumping back into the starting role after Lehner went down with injury. I expect both goaltenders to try and control the pace early in this one as they look to grab the win.
The Golden Knights have lost two straight against Colorado, but I think that they will be able to bounce back with a win in this one. Vegas has been keeping it close with the Avalanche the last two games. If the Golden Knights can strike first in this one, they should be able to earn a win on the road. I expect Vegas to step up on the power play to try and knock off Colorado.
BetOnline has the Avalanche listed as a -127 against the money line. This implies that Colorado will win this game around 56 percent of the time. The Avalanche have been strong this season, but I think that this game should be closer to even. The Golden Knights have been the better team overall this season and as underdogs in this one, I really like the value on Vegas.