vegas golden knights vs montreal canadiens prediction and preview

  • NHL

NHL vegas golden knights vs montreal canadiens prediction and preview


 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens played a defensive Game Four where both goaltenders were once again outstanding. The Golden Knights were able to force overtime with a late goal and won the game with a Nicolas Roy goa in overtime to not only even the series at 2 wins apiece but swing the momentum back in their favor. The two teams will play Game Five in Vegas and the Canadiens are hoping that they can pull off another road upset in the process.

 

 Canadiens continue to be led by their defense

The Canadiens lost the recent game 2-1 in overtime but their defense played another great game despite the loss. The Canadiens have only allowed 2 goals per game in each of the last three games with Jeff Petry and Joel Edmunson proving to be one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL while Shea Weber is stepping up in this series particularly on the same pairing as Ben Chiarot. Moreover, Carey Price has been incredible in the playoffs, allowing only 2.09 goals per game and saving .931 percent of shots.

 

 

 

While the defense has led the way for the Canadiens in the playoffs, the offense has struggled, finding few scoring opportunities and struggling in the majority of their shifts to generate offense. Joel Armia and Tyler Toffoli have combined for 10 goals in the playoffs on the top two lines but the backend has struggled. The Canadiens hope to turn to their youth line in Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, with the three skaters being 21-year-old or younger and providing a great spark on the backend of the forwards unit.

 

Vegas hopes offense can step up

The Vegas Golden Knights won game Four on the backs of another great defensive performance. The game started with the controversial decision to start Robin Lehner instead of Marc-Andre Fleury and the move paid off as Lehner allowed only one goal and made 27 saves. Additionally, the Golden Knights continued to receive great performances from their defense as Alec Martinez, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, and Brayden McNabb were able to create turnovers in both the neutral zone and the defensive zone with McNabb also being the only goal-scorer for the team in regulation.

 

While the defense has led the way, the offense has fallen apart in the last few games, especially the forward unit which only has three goals in the Semifinal series. Jonathan Marchessault has a team-leading 6 goals in the playoffs thus far but has yet to find the back of the net in the playoffs. Oddly enough, Nicolas Roy, the later line center who scored the overtime winner, has scored 3 of the 4 goals for the forward unit and will likely be relied upon more as the series continues to develop.






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