What a second-round series this is going to be.
The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers will get their Western Conference semifinal best-of-seven series underway on Wednesday night.
Vegas finished with 111 points to finish as the top seed in the Western Conference, while Edmonton, which went 14-0-1 in its last 15 regular-season games, took second in the Pacific Division with 109 points. As a result, the Knights will have home advantage in the series and host Game 1.
Vegas has been resting since last Thursday, when it defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 in Game 5 at home, while Edmonton needed six games to dispatch the Los Angeles Kings. That series wrapped up on Saturday.
The Oilers enter the contest as -115 road favourites and the total is set at 6.5 goals.
Oilers vs. Golden Knights odds
|Oilers Moneyline Odds||-115|
|Golden Knights Moneyline Odds||-105|
|Series odds||Oilers -155, Knights +135|
|Over/Under||6.5 goals (over -115, under -105)|
|Time/Date||Wednesday, May 3, 9:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: CBC (National)|
Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific (Regional)
TVA Sports (French Broadcast)
Stream: CBC.ca (Free!)
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
The Oilers took three of the four regular-season meetings with the Knights, but a pair of those games needed extra time to be decided. These teams also played over the total in three of those four contests.
|March 28, 2023||Vegas||7-4 EDM (+102)||7.0 (over)|
|March 25, 2023||Edmonton||4-3 (OT) VEG (+171)||7.0 (push)|
|Jan. 14, 2023||Vegas||4-3 EDM (-132)||6.5 (over)|
|Nov. 19, 2022||Edmonton||4-3 (OT) EDM (+110)||6.5 (over)|
About the Oilers (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS, 4-2 o/u)
The major storyline heading into this series is Edmonton’s potent power play, which scored on 32.4% of its chances in the regular season. The unit then converted on nine of its 16 chances (56.3%) in Edmonton’s opening series versus the Kings.
Leon Draisaitl led the NHL with 32 power-play goals and Connor McDavid netted 21 during the regular season. Their combined 53 power-play markers are way more than the Knights had as a team (42).
Vegas had the 19th-ranked penalty kill (77.4%) during the regular season, but the team did lead the league in blocked shots with 1,494. There could be a lot of battered and bruised Vegas bodies by the late stages of this series if that pace continues.
Also, the Golden Knights took the fewest penalties (243) in the regular season, and they’ll need to continue to deprive the opposition of those opportunities to have a chance of winning this series.
Player to watch: Evan Bouchard
Bouchard has thrived as the pointman on the Oilers power play and he takes a nine-game point streak into this one. He has 14 points during that span (four goals, 10 assists) and is -150 to record over 0.5 points. There’s better value if you pick him to score a power play point (-110).
About the Golden Knights (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS, 4-1 o/u)
The Knights were bolstered by the return of Mark Stone, who had back surgery in January, in their opening series. The veteran notched a team-leading eight points in the first round and he’ll play a pivotal role against Edmonton. Stone’s return has solidified a rock-solid group of top-nine forwards, and Vegas will try and use this depth against the top-heavy Oilers.
Vegas also boasts a goalie with a potential chip on his shoulder. Former Oilers netminder Laurent Brossoit is on a heater recently, posting a 9-1-0 record with a 2.02 GAA and .930 percentage in 10 regular season and playoff starts since April 1. After five seasons within the Oilers organization, Brossoit departed as a free agent following the 2017–18 season. He played in only 28 games for Edmonton during that span before moving on to Winnipeg and then Vegas.
Player to watch: Chandler Stephenson
Stephenson recorded four goals and four assists in the five-game series against Winnipeg and comes into this one with muti-point efforts in four straight contests. He’s +325 to score, -150 to record over 0.5 points, and +120 to record an assist.
Edmonton: Stuart Skinner (3-2, 3.43 GAA, .890 SV%) – unconfirmed.
Vegas: Laurent Brossoit (4-1, 2.42 GAA, .915 SV%) – unconfirmed.
Oilers forward Mattias Janmark is still out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury. Bettors want to monitor the statuses of Knights defencemen Shea Theodore (illness) and Brayden McNabb (upper body) leading up to puck drop. Both players are questionable for Game 1.
Betting trends to watch
- The Oilers are 4-0 in the last four meetings in Vegas.
- The road team is 7-2 in the past nine meetings.
- The underdog is 7-2 in the past nine meetings.
- The over is 4-1 in the Golden Knights’ last five games overall.
Wagers to consider
- Evan Bouchard has a power-play point in six straight games. As previously mentioned, he’s -110 to snatch a point with the man advantage.
- Alex Pietrangelo over 2.5 blocked shots: +110. The Vegas defenceman blocked five shots in the Knights’ series-clinching win over the Jets, and has 11 blocked shots over his last three games. As previousy mentioned, Vegas led the NHL in blocked shots this year, and Edmonton will surely be firing at the goal every chance it gets in the series opener.
- Mark Stone over 0.5 assists: +110. Stone has at least one assist in four straight games, including two last time out against Winnipeg.