In what could turn into a dumpster fire moment for the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, the books are taking favor to them.
The Golden Knights are favored at -140 heading into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal leads the series 3-2 and can clinch its first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 1993 with a win on home ice.
Things began to trend upward for the Golden Knights after winning Game 4 in overtime, 2-1, thanks to Nicolas Roy’s game-winner less than two minutes in. But Vegas played its worst game of the season at home on Tuesday, losing 4-1, highlighted by a three-point night from Nick Suzuki.
“I think just do what we’ve done all year, which is rely on our foundation, our principles, don’t get inpatient, don’t get outside our structure,” said Vegas coach Pete DeBoer. “I think we fell behind last game, kind of self-imploded after that. Lesson learned. We should be better tonight.”
The expectation is Robin Lehner will start for the Golden Knights once again in Bell Centre. Lehner stopped 27 of 28 shots in the Game 4 win, before going back to Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5. The loss certainly wasn’t due to Fleury’s performance, as much as it was breakdowns defensively and the inability to score.
History, however, is not on Vegas’ side. Teams who lead 3-2 in a conference final hold an all-time record of 330-88 (.789), and the Canadiens are 26-3 all-time when taking a 3-2 lead in a series; they’ve won the past four.
But if you’re looking for a bright side, the Golden Knights are 9-1 in their past 10 games when losing their last game by three or more goals.
“Guys are positive and we know what we have to do to execute,” said defenseman Zach Whitecloud. “We’ve just got away from what we do well. Even coming from a defenseman aspect, the quicker we can get the puck in our forwards’ hands, the more effective we’re going to be.”
- -1.5 (+200), +1.5 (-250)
- Over 5.5 (+125), Under 5.5 (-160)