Worst Team In Division Beats Vegas
The Golden Knights have some work to do before the start of the playoffs.
The way they have been playing of late at T-Mobile Arena, the expansion team is not going to last past the opening round in their first postseason.
Vegas lost again on Wednesday night to another non-playoff team. This is a trend that must stop soon if the Golden Knights have any hopes of a deep run towards the Stanley Cup.
Kevin Connauton scored twice for the Coyotes as Arizona edged the Golden Knights 3-2. The Pacific Division leaders are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games, but 7-6-3 in their last 16. They are now just five points ahead of the surging San Jose Sharks for the division lead with five games left in the season. The two teams meet Saturday at the SAP Center in California.
The Golden Knights (48-22-7) lost at home earlier this month to the Ottawa Senators, who were eliminated from the playoffs a long time ago. These are games good, disciplined teams must win.
Vegas plays its third of a four-game homestand on Friday against the St. Louis Blues, who are 8-2-0 in their last 10 and fighting for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights (-160) are favored, as they have been in the other two recent games (odds provided by Bovada).
St. Louis is battling Minnesota for third place in the Central Division and Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado for the two wild card spots. Every point in the standings could mean the difference of playing in the postseason or not for the Blues, who have won six straight games.
The Blues (43-28-5) have one of the better road records in the league at 19-13-5, while the Golden Knights are 27-10-2 at home.
There are four players with more than 50 points to fuel the St. Louis offense. Brayden Schenn leads the team with the most points (25-39-64), followed by Vladimir Tarasenko (31-31-62), Jaden Schwartz (22-33-55) and Alex Pietrangelo (15-37-52).
The weather may be warming up in Las Vegas, but the Golden Knights certainly aren’t. The Blues have won four consecutive games on the road, including an overtime victory over the Sharks on Tuesday. They could easily make it five in this one.
VGB’s pick — St. Louis (+130), Under (5.5)
Closing In On Career Milestones
The Golden Knights shocked the NHL with an 8-1 start, but they are definitely not playing at that pace to close out the regular season.
The team, whose arena is located on the Las Vegas Strip between iconic resorts New York New York and Monte Carlo, is still listed among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup at +700 (odds provided by Bovada).
Three of their players are closing in on career milestones.
• Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who won three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, remains one win away from moving into sole possession of 11th on the NHL’s career wins list.
• James Neal is two games shy of his 700th in his career. The nine-year veteran has 24 goals this season for Vegas. His career high is 40, which he scored for the Penguins in the 2011-12 season.
• Jonathan Marchessault is two games away from his 200th career contest. The 27-year-old is the leading scorer for the Golden Knights with 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points.