The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout April 7. Five games will be up on the board throughout Wednesday. One of these games will be between the Vegas Golden Knights and the St. Louis Blues. These two teams are on different sides of the division so far this season, but I expect a good game in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Golden Knights have started out this season with a record of 25-10-2, which has them sitting in second place of the West Division. Vegas is only four points behind the division leading Colorado Avalanche and will look to keep that race close. The Golden Knights are coming off a big win in their last game, which ended a three game losing streak.
St. Louis has put up a record of 16-16-6 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the West Division. The Blues have struggled heavily throughout this season, but are five points out of a playoff spot. St. Louis has lost seven games in a row and twelve of their last fourteen. The Blues will look to try and turn it around with a big win in this one.
These two teams are sitting on opposite sides of the standings so far this season, but I think that this could be an exciting game. Vegas has been solid throughout this season, but are looking to catch the streaking Avalanche. The Blues have fallen down in the standings, but still have a chance to get back in the playoff race if they can turn it around soon.
The Golden Knights and the Blues have met up five times so far this season. Vegas hosted the first game on January 26. Max Pacioretty had three goals, while Mark Stone had three assists. It was not enough for the Golden Knights though. David Perron had two goals and Jaden Schwartz added a goal and an assist. David Perron and Brayden Schenn both scored in the shootout as St. Louis won 5-4.
St. Louis hosted the second and third game of the season series on March 12 and 13. Jonathan Marchessault, Alec Martinez, Tomas Nosek and Reilly Smith all had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights won the second game 5-4 in overtime. Mark Stone had two goals, while Max Pacioretty had a goal and two assists in the third game to lead Vegas to a 5-1 win.
The fourth game of the season series shifted to Vegas on March 22. Vince Dunn scored for the Blues on the night, but it was not enough. Mark Stone had two goals and an assist, while William Karlsson had a goal and two assists. Robin Lehner stopped 15 of 16 shots on the nigh tot help give the Golden Knights another 5-1 win.
The fifth and most recent game of the season series was in St. Louis on April 5. Tyler Bozak scored for the Blues, but once again the Blues came up short. Alec Martinez scored twice on the night, while William Carrier finished with a goal and an assist. Robin Lehner finished with 31 saves on 32 shots as Vegas dominated for a 6-1 win on the road.
Vegas has not been great on the power play throughout this season. The Golden Knights have scored on 20 of their 114 power play chances, which is a 17.5 percent power play. Vegas has been much stronger on the penalty kill though. The Golden Knights have killed off 85 of their opponents 100 power play attempts, which is an 85 percent kill rate.
The Blues have struggled on both sides of special teams throughout this season. St. Louis has capitalized on 20 of their 113 power play opportunities, which is a 17.7 percent success rate. The Blues have given up 30 power play goals on 122 penalties against, which is a 75.4 percent penalty kill. St. Louis needs to improve on all parts of special teams if they want to get back in the win column.
The Golden Knights have the edge on special teams in this one with the better penalty kill. Neither team has been great on the power play this season. St. Louis has taken more penalties than they have drawn this season and will need to stay out of the box in this one. If Vegas can get a few power play chances, it could be enough to break through on the Blues struggling penalty kill.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the start in the net for the Golden Knights in this one. Fleury has started in 26 games this season, going 17-9 throughout those starts. He has put up a save percentage of .924 and a 2.14 GAA. Fleury’s last start was against the Minnesota Wild, where he stopped 25 of 27 shots in the losing effort.
I expect Jordan Binnington to get the nod between the pipes for St. Louis on Wednesday night. Binnington has earned a record of 10-11-5 throughout his decisions this season. He has posted a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 2.77. Binnington stopped 13 of 14 shots against Vegas after stepping in for the second half of the game on Monday.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season, but Vegas has the edge with Fleury in net. Fleury has stepped up in a big way when the Golden Knights have needed him. Binnington has struggled down the stretch a bit, which has hurt St. Louis. The Blues will look to give him some extra help in this one to try and earn a big win on Wednesday night.
The Golden Knights have dominated St. Louis as of late, winning the last three games by a combined score of 16-3. The Blues will need to find a way to get their offense going in this one if they want to knock off Vegas. St. Louis is coming off another big defeat to the Golden Knights and will look to bounce back in this one.
BetOnline has Vegas listed as a -141 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Golden Knights will win this game around 58.5 percent of the time. I think that this line is about right with how much more consistent Vegas has been this season. St. Louis is at home in this one and coming off a big defeat to the Golden Knights. I think the Blues can bounce back in this one for a big win.