The Vegas Golden Knights just can’t stop winning. In another impressive outing, the Golden Knights took down the Tampa Bay Lightning. It wasn’t at home either, as they earned a 4-1 in Tampa. They didn’t just beat them either, the Knights had firm control throughout the contest, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period. It’s unbelievable that Vegas, in their first year, are playing at this level of play. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again, especially after taking down a team like the Lightning.
It just shows that the Golden Knights are capable of winning other than at home in Vegas, and expect a good team. The advantage they have in Las Vegas over other teams is pretty clear. However, beating the Lightning in Florida is quite the impressive feat, maybe the best performance we’ve seen from them this season. The win ended a two-game losing streak, with losses coming against the Oilers and Predators. The Oilers game was a rare home loss for the Golden Knights. With what looks like a collision course for the playoffs, it’s going to be one of the most intriguing team to keep an eye on.
They’ll stay in the state of Florida on Friday, as they turn their attention to the Panthers tonight. The Panthers are winners of just one game in their last five. They put together a nice stretch, getting wins in five straight, but they’ve just about given it all back. The Panthers enter tonight with a record of 18-19-6. It hasn’t been the most pleasant season for first-year bench boss Bob Boughner.
He’s finding out it requires a little more work and stress than as an assistant. For Panthers’ head coach, Gerard Gallant, makes his much anticipated return to Florida. If you recall, he was fired after a road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. The images of him leaving to the airport in a cab are still fresh in the minds of many people. We’ll see if he can get some revenge on the Panthers tonight. It was really a baffling dismissal to begin with. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Panthers pick for Friday night in the NHL.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers Pick
With another stellar outing from Marc-Andre Fleury last night, the netminder moved into 1st in the NHL with a 1.72 GAA. He’s come back from injury and staking his claim for the Vezina. The Penguins have to be wishing they could have protected him in the expansion draft, but he’s a 33-year-old, so they figured his expiration date was on the horizon. Fleury will likely get the night off, giving way to Malcom Subban in net. Subban has been another A+ acquisition for the Knights, who haven’t made many mistakes in that department. He holds a 2.38 GAA and 0.918 save percentage, which is about all you can ask for from a backup goaltender.
The Knights are 3rd in the NHL with 3.34 goals per game. With a healthy Fleury, they now have a complete team on both ends of the ice. Predicting that the Knights would be 3rd in scoring, in January, would have required a fairly gutsy call. Everyone figured they were going to get by on defence and Fleury alone. Play the trap and let Fleury steal a few games.
That game plan went out the door, as they had to adjust with having him injured. Offensively they answered the call and responded brilliantly. Everything would indicate they are going to roll over the Panthers tonight. However, this looks like it could be a trap spot for them. Just hours ago they won their biggest game of the year. Now they go to Sunrise where they’ll take on the average Panthers. After a big won only a night ago, I could see the Panthers catching the Golden Knights sleeping on the job on Friday night. I like a spot play on the Panthers at home here.
PICK: PANTHERS (-115)