9* Wednesday POWER-PLAY ~ 11 STRAIGHT WINNING DAYS!
Vegas vs. San Jose,
05/02/2018 22:00 EDT,
Score: 0 - 4
Money Line: +118 Vegas
9* Vegas (10:05 ET): The Golden Knights simply continue to establish new benchmarks for an expansion franchise, no matter the sport. They're now 6-1 in the playoffs after "stealing" Game 3 Monday night in overtime. They can now take a commanding 3-1 series lead w/ another win tonight in San Jose. Unlike the 1st round series (where they swept the Kings), scoring has not been an issue for Vegas in the 2nd round as they've totaled 14 goals in three games. That's twice as many goals as they had in the four-game sweep of Los Angeles. Now they've also allowed seven goals the L2 games after giving up only three in the first five (three shutouts). But the fact they were still able to win one of those speaks volumes about the resiliency of this team. I'm going with them at 'plus money' in Game 4.
Vegas is now 5-2 vs. San Jose in their inaugural season. Of course, as we've come to learn throughout this season, this isn't your "normal" expansion team. They defied the odds by winning the Pacific Division in the regular season and while many cite a tremendous home ice advantage, they also had 22 road wins, tied for second most in the league. Curiously, San Jose has not been a dominant home team as they're "only" 27-14-3 at the Shark Tank in 2017-18. They also have a losing record against teams that are .500 or better this year. Game 3 saw Vegas jump out to a 3-1 lead after two periods, only to give up two goals in the final 13 minutes. San Jose tied things up w/ less than two minutes to go in regulation, but it was "not to be" as William Karlsson of the Golden Knights won it in overtime.
Yes, Vegas has been a tad bit "lucky" in the playoffs as all but one win (7-0 over San Jose in Gm 1) has been by one goal. They've also been outshot in all but two games w/ one of the exceptions seeing them outshoot the Sharks by one in that Game 1 romp. But this club has been both lucky and good throughout its first year of existence and can hang its hat on a red-hot goaltender (Marc-Andre Fleury) that has a .960 save percentage in the postseason. Also, the Vegas power play has come alive in this series w/ five goals after going just 1 for 12 against the Kings (who had the top PK unit in the league during the regular season). What's impressive is that the Sharks' penalty killing ranked #2 in the reg season. I also have my concerns about San Jose's ability to score moving forward as this team was only 15th in even strength goals during the regular season. They were fortunate to go 6 for 20 w/ the man advantage in the first round vs. Anaheim, but are now just 3 for 16 in this series. With a clear edge in goal, I'll call for Vegas to continue rolling. 9* Vegas