The 2020 Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals continue Tuesday night with Game 2, as the third-seeded Dallas Stars take on the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights.
The Stars stunned the Knights in the opener and will look to increase their lead, so we’re taking a closer look at Tuesday’s showdown at Rogers Place in Edmonton, bringing you the best betting tips and trends along with our top pick and the latest odds update.
Dallas cannot count on its starting goalie Ben Bishop, while defensemen Taylor Fedun and Stephen Johns are on the sidelines, too. Vegas, on the other side, is coming in full strength.
The Golden Knights opened as a -163 moneyline fave with a total of 5.5 goals on Sugarhouse, while the Stars are +147 underdogs to win straight up.
The Stars won the opener 1-0 as +140 dogs with a total of six goals.
What’s at Stake?
Nobody wants to start the conference finals with a couple of losses. The Golden Knights will give their best to tie the series, as well as the Stars, who have a nice opportunity to grab a solid lead.
The Stars’ defense hasn’t impressed in a seven-game series against Colorado in the previous round. They blanked Vegas in Game 1 which is a huge boost for their confidence.
The Golden Knights had to play seven games in the second round, too. They blanked Vancouver three times, but the Knights have failed to score in two of their last three outings which is a bad sign.
Vegas is scoring 3.06 goals per game this postseason. However, the Knights have netted only five goals over their previous four games. They took 25 shots towards Anton Khudobin last Sunday, but the Russian goalie had a great game.
The Stars took 25 shots as well, scoring the winner just 2:36 into the 1st period. It was a proper physical battle, and the teams combined for 96 hits, as Dallas posted two more than Vegas.
I’ve mentioned a few times during the 2020 Stanley Cup that Dallas had one of the best defenses in the league last regular season. The Stars were pretty much awful offensively, but they went off in the postseason, averaging 3.18 goals per contest.
On the other side, the Knights surprised many in the opener, starting Marc-Andre Fleury instead of Robin Lehner who’s been terrific so far. Lehner is 8-4 with a 1.99 GAA this postseason, while Fleury is now 3-1 with a 2.27 GAA.
We’ll see who’ll take the ice in Game 2 for Vegas, while Anton Khudobin will guard the cage for Dallas. Khudobin is 9-5 this Stanley Cup, tallying a 2.74 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
The Stars and Knights split their two-game regular-season series, and the Knights beat the Stars 5-3 in the round-robin tournament. Vegas is 7-3 in 10 encounters with Dallas, while the under is 6-3-1 in that stretch.
I was shocked to see just one goal in the opener, especially after it comes early in the 1st period. Both teams played cautiously from that moment, and I expect to see a more attacking approach by the Golden Knights in Game 2.
Also, I don’t think the Stars can keep their net intact once more, so I’m going with Vegas to win straight up at -163 odds. The Golden Knights desperately need to get things going on the offensive end, while their defense has been rock-solid for most of the playoffs.
The stake is huge for the Knights, and I believe they will thrive under pressure.