The Western Conference Finals continue on Saturday night. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars have met in a strong series so far, which should lead to a strong matchup on Monday night. The Stars will look to increase their lead on the series, while Vegas will try to tie it back up. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on NBC.
The Golden Knights earned a record of 39-24-8 throughout the regular season, which put them in the round robin. Vegas went undefeated throughout the round robin to earn the top spot in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights then went on to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks to earn a spot in the Conference Finals.
Dallas finished out the regular season with a record of 37-24-8. The Stars struggled a bit in the round robin, going 1-2, which put them as the third seed in the West. Dallas went on to eliminate the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche though to reach the Western Conference Finals. The Stars will look to push Vegas to the brink of elimination with a win in this one.
These two teams have both met in a solid series so far, which should lead to another great matchup on Saturday night. The Golden Knights need to find the back of the net more if they want to tie up this series, while Dallas’ defense will look to keep shutting down Vegas. If the Stars can limit the Golden Knights scoring chances, Dallas will have a great chance to take a stranglehold on the series.
Game 1 of this best of seven series was on September 6. The Stars opened up the scoring with a goal from John Klingberg two and a half minutes into the first period. Dallas then was able to play shut down defense. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 25 shots, which was not enough. Anton Khudobin turned away all 25 shots he faced as the Stars took Game 1 with a 1-0 win.
The second game of this series was back on September 8. Paul Stastny opened up the scoring for Vegas in the second period and added an assist later in the period. William Karlsson and Tomas Nosek both scored as well for the Golden Knights. Robin Lehner turned away all 24 shots he faced as Vegas tied up the series with a 3-0 win.
Game 3 of the series was on September 10. Jamie Oleksiak and Jamie Benn both scored for the Stars to give them two different lead. Mark Stone scored a goal and an assist though as the Golden Knights battled back to tie it up. Alexander Radulov scored in overtime as the Stars took the series lead back. Anton Khudobin stopped 38 of 40 shots against him as Dallas won 3-2.
Dallas was able to take Game’s 1 and 3 of this series playing strong defensively. The Golden Knights were able to shut out the Stars in Game 2, but could not carry that momentum into Game 3. Vegas needs to find some more consistency on offense if they want to extend this series. The Golden Knights struggled against the Canucks in the second round with scoring and need to fix though issues quickly.
The Golden Knights have been strong on special teams throughout this postseason. Vegas has capitalized on 19 percent of their power play chances in the postseason. The Golden Knights have killed off their opponents on 88.9 percent of their power plays in this playoff run. Vegas has gone 2-14 on the power play in this series.
Dallas has been doing even better on special teams throughout this playoff run. The Stars have been able to score on 25.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Dallas has put up a penalty kill of 82.9 percent throughout the playoffs. The Stars have struggled going 0-5 on the power play throughout this series.
Vegas has done a great job staying out of the penalty box throughout this series. The Golden Knights have been able to score twice on the power play in this series, but are still down in the series. The Stars have been great on the power play in the playoffs, but have not been able to get it going with only five chances over five games. Look for Dallas to draw more penalties in Game 4.
Robin Lehner will get the start in the crease for the Golden Knights on Saturday night. Lehner finished out the regular season with a record of 19-10-5. He put up a save percentage of .920 and a 2.89 GAA in those games. Lehner has done a great job in the playoffs, earning a .921 save percentage and a GAA of 1.92 to lead Vegas to the Conference Finals.
I expect Anton Khudobin to get the nod in net for Dallas in Game 4 of this series. Khudobin had posted a record of 16-8-4 throughout the regular season. He finished out those games with a .930 save percentage and a GAA of 2.22. Khudobin has put up a save percentage of .915 and a GAA of 2.77 throughout this playoff run.
These two goalies have been playing really well throughout this playoff run. Both goalies have put up a shutout in this series, which has gotten their team a win. I expect it to be another tight affair in Game 4 though. The Stars broke through on Lehner in the last game and with the tough loss in overtime, it could give Dallas the momentum going into this one.
The Stars are coming off a big win in Game 3 of this series to give themselves a 2-1 series lead. I believe that Dallas will be able to take a 3-1 series lead with a win on Saturday night. The Stars have a chance to earn a big edge if they can get special teams going in this one. Dallas won in overtime, which I think could be a momentum killer for the Golden Knights.
BetOnline has Vegas listed as a -157 against the money line for Game 4 of this series. This implies that the Golden Knights will win this game around 61.1 percent of the time. The Stars are up in this series, which makes me think this line should be much closer. Dallas has looked great at times in this series and I believe they can get one game closer to the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.