NHL picks: 4 best bets for Canadiens v Golden Knights Game 5
Our NHL expert has picked out his four best bets for Game 5 between the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night.
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Vegas Golden Knights to win
The Golden Knights stole one from Montreal in Game 4. They didn’t play particularly well for long stretches of the game and looked lost offensively at times, but they found a way to eke out a 2-1 victory in Montreal to even the series.
Vegas has Robin Lehner to thank for that as he was brilliant in net, stopping 27 of 28 shots against. He was the surprise starter after head coach Peter DeBoer felt the need to get Marc-Andre Fleury some rest, but now there’s a lot of reasonable questions about who should start Game 5. Whether it’s Fleury or Lehner, I still like the Golden Knights’ chances on home ice.
DeBoer and his team know how fortunate they were to come away with a win in Game 4, and that level of wakeup call, where they were a goal away from being on the brink of elimination, is going to help propel them in Game 5.
There is a legitimate concern about this team’s ability to generate offense consistently enough to challenge Carey Price, though. They’re clearly missing the injured Chandler Stephenson, who is by no means a star but has become a reliable center. Without him, their depth down the middle suffers.
Look for the Golden Knights’ veterans like Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo to step up in a big way.
Under 5.5 total goals
This series hasn’t gone over five goals yet and it’s hard to imagine it will start now.
The Golden Knights are a much better team on home ice and should be able to get things rolling a little more consistently, but Carey Price is still at the other end of the ice stopping darn near everything.
Even though there is uncertainty over who Vegas will start in net, the defense of both these teams should keep this a tense, low-scoring affair.
Alex Pietrangelo to score 1+ points
With points in six of his last eight games, Pietrangelo has been one of the Golden Knights’ most consistent point producers. The defensemen in particular have been especially busy in terms of getting involved in the offense.
The amount of ice time Pietrangelo is getting in this series also increases his likelihood of hitting the score sheet. He has played over 25 minutes in every single game of this series.
With how aggressive he has been jumping into plays and making things happen for his team, I like his chances of making an impact in a game with a chance to take the series lead.
Over 6.5 total 2-min penalties
One of the biggest playoff storylines has been the referees and their lack of calls. I feel like it got to a boiling point in Game 4. They let so much go in that game with four total minor penalties called.
I think the referees and the league are hearing about it and it’s going to be addressed. With the series knotted up, I don’t anticipate the referees getting whistle happy, but I do think they’re going to be looking more carefully at different things to call.
There has only been one game so far in this series where seven or more minor penalties were called, but I just feel like the public pressure has mounted so much that the officials are going to make a few more calls in this one.
BOOSTED DOUBLE: Vegas to win & Pietrangelo to score
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