The Vegas Golden Knights conclude their four-game road trip looking to earn a point in their fifth-straight game and 11th time in 15 games, when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
The Golden Knights went into Madison Square Garden for a Sunday matinee and took a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Rangers.
Vegas has won 10 of 13 and continue to challenge in the playoff race in the Western Conference, currently holding the top wild-card spot with 40 points.
We are 13-6-1 with totals involving the Golden Knights, after hitting the Over in Sunday’s game. We’re also on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays throughout the league.
As of 3 p.m. PT, Columbus is laying -140 while the Knights are taking back +135.
Value in the Knights
Vegas is on an offensive surge right now, as every line appears to be playing well, and vibing at the right time. The Golden Knights have scored four or more goals in eight of their last 11 games, and are one of three teams that have five players who have scored at least 10 goals this season. Vegas ranks 12th with 106 goals this season, but since Nov. 1, the Golden Knights are tied with the fifth most goals in the league (80). William Karlsson leads the team with 13 goals, Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch each have 12 goals, Cody Eakin has 11 goals and Max Pacioretty has 10 goals this season. With the offense clicking right now, that underdog price becomes attractive.
Value in the Blue Jackets
Interestingly, the value for Columbus comes from Vegas’ decision to start Malcolm Subban. Tonight marks Subban’s first start since a 7-2 loss at Calgary on Nov. 19. He is 0-4 with a 4.02 GAA and .859 save percentage, and tonight faces a team that is in on a 6-3-2 run against Western Conference teams. Columbus is a team that fires plenty at the net, and will step to the ice after taking 37 shots on net in Saturday’s overtime loss, marking the 23rd time this season the club recorded 30 or more shots in a game — including the sixth time in the last seven outings. Columbus is currently eighth in the NHL with 32.8 shots per game. That doesn’t bode well for Subban. We would think this price would be high if Marc-Andre Fleury was in net, but it’s not a bad investment against the little-used Subban.
As of 8 a.m. PT, the total in this game is 6 1/2-under -105.
There is a reason that number has climbed to 6 1/2, as it’s likely because Subban was the projected starter for Vegas, and Columbus has dangerous scoring threats. It’s only the second time this season a game involving Vegas has seen the total installed at 6 1/2, a game that stayed under. The Blue Jackets, however, have had three games with a 6 1/2 installed, with one going over and the other two staying low. As much as we’re intrigued by these teams being able to score goals, we’re going to give the edge to this one staying under. Sergei Bobrovsky has been solid in his last two starts, allowing just three goals totals, while he hasn’t given up more than three in four straight starts, and in six of his last seven. He’ll be aided by the Blue Jackets’ special teams unit, which is 11-for-11 on the penalty kill in its past five games and is 49-for-58 (84.5 percent) since Nov. 1. As for Subban, with so much being said, and him finally getting a chance between the pipes, and the Golden Knights finally healthy in front of him, look for his best performance of the season. Play this one UNDER.
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.