Game 4 certainly brought about an unexpected result in the Vegas/Chicago series, as the Blackhawks mustered all they could to hang on in this best-of-7 encounter.
Though Chicago snuck out of the building in Edmonton with a 2-1 victory in Game 4, it wasn’t really deserved. Goalie Corey Crawford played the game of his career Sunday evening, making absurd saves over all three periods to prolong this series.
The favoured Knights clearly pushed hard for the sweep, trying to allow for some of their ailing bodies to get more rest and treatment before the next series commences – but the Hawks had other plans. That said, Vegas still should enter a crucial Game 5 with loads of confidence. They doubled Chicago in shots, attempts, and chances, and were completely dominant at 5-on-5 play.
In Game 5, the benefit of last change returns to Vegas – a factor that should work in their favour. They’ve also been battling some injuries of late – though it is expected that the Knights will have all key pieces back in the lineup to try and close out Chicago. Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford are again the projected goaltenders.
It has been a very profitable run of NHL playoff betting thus far in August, and we’ll be going all the way until they award the Stanley Cup in early October. Keep reading on beneath the posted odds for further Game 5 analysis, team news, and a betting prediction for the Golden Knights and Blackhawks.
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks Betting Odds:
Vegas Golden Knights (-196)
Chicago Blackhawks (+175)
Over 5.5 (-130)
Under 5.5 (+115)
Vegas Golden Knights -1 (-130)
Chicago Blackhawks +1 (+110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks Pick:
It really is a miracle this series is even going 5 games, as the Knights have been the superior team in virtually every facet of hockey. They completely dominated Game 4, but a heroic outing from Corey Crawford has prolonged the inevitable.
The simple fact is Chicago cannot handle the speed or ferocity of the Knights. They can’t do it either in the neutral zone or on the forecheck, and as a result it is leading to a plethora of scoring chances and opportunities for a talented Vegas side.
It’s also worth noting that Vegas should be back to full-strength to try and close out the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. Robin Lehner will be between the pipes, and Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny are both expected to be in the lineup. With last change in an elimination game, look for Pete de Boer to use Vegas’ depth to his advantage. Chicago’s bottom pairings are very weak and should be pounced on by the Knights’ top guys.
In Game 5, expect a no-nonsense approach from Vegas. They’ll score early and often, clearly prioritizing getting this series closed out before Chicago gains even more confidence. With some bodies clearly ailing, it will be important to finish Chicago off and allow for more recovery time before the second round.
Look for Vegas to nullify Chicago’s scoring lines, and put the pressure on from the outset. Chicago’s defense have been a tire-fire at retrieving pucks and keeping Vegas’ big forwards to the outside, so expect a direct approach in the Knights’ attack come Tuesday evening. Corey Crawford is a solid goalie and is making a good case for his upcoming free agency, but he’s not going to entirely lead Chicago to another victory solely on his back.
While the Knights price on the moneyline might be a tad steep, search around at your book for either the Knights to win in regulation, or back them on the -1 line. Obviously, a 1-goal win would push – but in an elimination game where Chicago is likely trailing late, empty-netters could play a role. Look for Vegas to assert their dominance on Tuesday, and be the first NHL team to move onto the second round.
Pick: Vegas 5-1