Final Homestand For Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are trending in the wrong direction with less than two weeks left in the regular season.
The clock is ticking as teams look to peak at this time of year in their run for the Stanley Cup.
The Pacific Division leaders, who are the most successful expansion team in NHL history, have lost two straight and four of their last six games.
The Golden Knights (47-21-7) appeared unbeatable at home just a month ago. Now they look vulnerable every night.
Vegas meets Colorado on Monday in a home-and-home series at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. The Avalanche (41-26-8) currently hold one of the wild card spots in the Western Conference, but they are also in a dogfight for third place in the Central.
The Golden Knights lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Avalanche on Saturday afternoon. It was also the second consecutive time Vegas was not favored in a game (odds provided by Bovada). The team had been favored in 20 straight games, dating back to Feb. 6. They are 12-10 in those 22 matchups.
Jonathan Marchessault scored the lone goal for Vegas. He has the team lead in scoring again with 24 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. William Karlsson (39-27-66) and David Perron (16-50-66) are tied for second.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who kept the Golden Knights in the game against the Avalanche, is second in the NHL in goals against average (2.15) and save percentage (.930).
This is the third and final time the two Western Conference rivals meet in the regular season. Vegas beat Colorado 7-0 in their first meeting on Oct. 27. It was the first of two occasions where the Golden Knights scored seven goals — their highest output for a game.
The Avalanche, who are 6-2-2 in their last 10, have a losing record on the road at 15-16-6. They are 22-16-6 against teams from the West and 11-6-3 against teams from the Pacific Division. They have won three straight on the road with victories over Chicago, St. Louis and Minnesota.
Colorado has two high-powered scorers in Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon is tied for third in the league with 38 goals and 54 assists for 92 points. Rantanen is 14th with 27 goals and 53 assists for 80 points.
This is the Golden Knights’ last homestand of the regular season. They take on Colorado, Arizona, St. Louis and San Jose before playing their last three games on the road — at Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
They are 29-10-4 against teams from the West, but their stats have been slipping in every category of late. The Golden Knights are 7-6 in their last 13 games at T-Mobile Arena.
The Avalanche are fighting for their playoff lives. Obviously, they need a win here a lot more than the unpredictable Golden Knights.
VGB’s pick — Colorado (+145), Under (6)
VGB’s Top 10 NHL Teams
(Current odds to win the Stanley Cup listed after team record. Odds provided by Bovada.)
- Nashville (48-16-11) +375 — Lose two straight for first time since mid-Feb.
- Tampa Bay (51-20-4) +325 — Most wins of any team (24) on road this year.
- Boston (46-17-10) +900 — Could take Atlantic lead away from Lightning.
- Winnipeg (46-19-10) +1200 — Laine leads league with 19 power-play goals.
- Toronto (45-23-7) +1400 — Club-record home winning streak now at 13.
- Vegas (47-21-7) +600 — Expansion team has lost four of its last six games.
- Washington (44-24-7) +1800 — Ovechkin leads NHL in goals scored with 44.
- Pittsburgh (43-27-6) +850 — Two-time defending champs 15-19-4 on road.
- San Jose (43-23-9) +2800 — Seven consecutive wins, closing in on Vegas.
- Columbus (42-29-5) +3300 — Nine-game winning streak halted on weekend.