The third-seeded Dallas Stars have a 2-1 lead ahead of Game 4 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals against the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.
The Stars will look to extend their lead and get just a step away from their first Stanley Cup Finals in 20 years, while the Golden Knights hope to bounce back once more after winning Game 2.
The NHL Playoffs are heating up, so let’s take a closer look at the key tips and betting trends for Saturday’s clash at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The Golden Knights should miss winger Tomas Nosek who’s been injured in Game 3. The Stars, on the other side, are without defensemen Stephen Johns and Taylor Fedun and goalie Ben Bishop, while center Radek Faksa is questionable to play.
Vegas is listed as a fave for the fourth straight time in this series. The Knights are set at -160 moneyline odds on BetAmerica, and they lost the opener 1-0 as -160 favorites. They were -170 favorites in a 3-0 win in Game 2 and a 3-2 overtime loss this past Thursday.
Dallas is a +145 moneyline dog on DraftKings, while the totals are set at 5.5 goals with the over at +124 odds.
What’s at Stake?
It’s a big game for both teams. The Stars can win a lot, and the Knights can lose even more.
So far, the 2020 Western Conference Finals have been a proper defensive battle. Interestingly, the Stars haven’t won two straight games since beating the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the conference semifinals, while the Knights did it in Game 3 and 4 of their semifinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.
The goaltenders are leading the way in this matchup. Anton Khudobin blanked the Knights in the opener, while Robin Lehner responded with a shutout in Game 2. Back on Thursday, Anton had another tremendous night, posting 38 saves to help his team in a huge victory.
Khudobin is the only option for the Stars in Ben Bishop’s absence. The 34-year-old Russian is a top-notch goalie, and he’s 10-6 with a 2.77 GAA and .915 save percentage this postseason. Anton has won three of his last four starts, allowing nine goals in that span.
On the other side, Marc-Andre Fleury guarded the cage for the Knights in Game 1, turning aside 24 of 25 shots. Robin Lehner stopped all 24 shots in Game 2, but he yielded three goals on just 23 shots in Game 3.
Lehner has been playing in a very good form lately. He’s 9-5 on the postseason, tallying an impressive 1.92 GAA and .921 save percentage. The Knights haven’t announced who’ll patrol the crease Saturday, but they clearly have some good options.
Vegas took 17 shots more than Dallas in that 3-2 overtime loss last Thursday. The Knights were arguably a better team on the ice, but it wasn’t enough against the diligent Stars. They missed a ton of solid scoring opportunities, while Alexander Radulov needed just 31 seconds to score the winner in overtime.
The Golden Knights are struggling to score against Anton Khudobin, but they are creating plenty of chances and will continue with an aggressive approach on Saturday. Vegas possesses a very dangerous frontline that has to step up on an occasion like this one.
Therefore, my best betting pick here is Vegas to score three or more goals at -200 odds. The Knights beat the Stars 5-3 in the round-robin tournament and should have enough firepower to tie the series. If they are going to beat the Stars in this one, I don’t think the Knights will score just a goal or two.
Vegas is 8-4 in 12 encounters with Dallas. The under is 8-3-1 in that stretch.