The Vegas Golden Knights continue their four-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils. And per reports out of New Jersey, it appears Paul Stastny will return to the Golden Knights tonight at Prudential Center.
Vegas opened its tour of New York, New Jersey and Columbus with a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Wednesday, and have now won 10 of 13 to move into a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
We are 11-6-1 with totals involving the Golden Knights, and on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays throughout the league.
As of 3 pm pacific, Vegas is laying -130, while the Devils are taking back +120.
Value in the Knights
Vegas has been on the east coast now since Monday. The Golden Knights played Wednesday and have only played one game over the last five (inluding today). They’re fresh, they’re rested and they have Stastny eager to rejoin the lineup. Max Pacioretty will be sitting this one out, but Vegas should be able compensate with a juggling of the lines. The uptempo Knights will take aim at Jersey goalie Cory Schneider, who is 0-5-1 with a 4.29 goals against average and a .862 save percentage. If the first line of Reilly Smith, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault warms up quickly, this game could get out of hand early.
Value in the Devils
While New Jersey is just 10-13-6 this season, it is 7-2-4 at home. Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall is questionable and will be a gametime decision, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other Devils capable of picking up the slack. Kyle Palmieri, who is second on the team with 27 points, scored four goals in the last three games, scoring two against the Kings and two against the Ducks. He has at least one point in three straight games. And if the Devils can keep this one close, they’ve shown they know how to win close games. The Devils are 26-9-15 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 39-0-4, when leading after two periods. And get this, since the start of the 2015-16 season, the Devils are 83-0-14 when leading after 40 minutes of play.
As of 3 p.m. PT, the total in this game is 6-over -115.
We’re playing this game Over the posted number, as Vegas is going to look to exploit Schneider in his first home start. He will not be able to stymie this lineup, as all four lines are showing they can produce. With Oscar Lindberg moving up to join Stastny and Alex Tuch, and red-hot Cody Eakin moving down to center the third line, we wouldn’t be surprised to see all four lines get involved with the scoring tonight. Since trudging through a wave of Unders, Vegas has gone Over in six of its last eight. The Golden Knights will force the Devils into a fast-paced game, and given how Jersey has played of late, it won’t mind. The Devils have gone Over in three straight and nine of their last 10. They should penetrate Fleury, who is 24-25-3 in 53 career games against the Devils, and is making his 12th straight start. Count on this one landing high.
W.G. Ramirez is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas who covers the Vegas Golden Knights for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @WillieGRamirez