NHL Finals: Can Gritty – and Desperate – Knights Rebound to Tie Series in Game 4 Showdown?
Now down, 2-1 the gritty Vegas Golden Knights will be in all-out desperation mode when they hit the road to take on the equally feisty Washington Capitals in what looks like a do-or-die Game 4 matchup on Monday night. If you’re looking to find out which team is offering the best betting value when this game of the NHL Finals goes down live from Capital One Arena at 8:00 PM ET, then let’s get to my expert pick right now.
— NHL (@NHL) June 4, 2018
🏆: #NHL Finals
🏒: Vegas Golden Knights (64-28-8) at Washington Capitals (63-32-9)
🏟️: Capital One Arena
⏰: Monday, June 4, 2018, at 8:00 PM ET.
🎰: Washington Capitals -1½ +215 | -130 | U 5½ -125
The Golden Knights fell into a 2-1 series deficit by losing Game 3 by the score of 3-1. The Knights also lost Game 2 by a narrow 3-2 score after jumping all over the Caps in Game 1 by the score of 6-4. Still, Vegas has rebounded all season long when they’ve been punched in the mouth and they’re not panicking at all right now heading into Game 4.
“It’s been said all year,” forward James Neal told the Las Vegas Sun. “We know what we have in this room and we stick together. We got each other, we’ll pick each other up, focus on the next one. We’ll have our best game of the year and tie it up.”
The Golden Knights rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the Western Conference Finals to win four straight games but now, they’ve dropped two straight games for the first time this postseason and have been stymied by a Washington defense that limited them to a paltry 22 shots on goal, its second-lowest total in the playoffs.
“I think we can hang onto pucks more instead of putting it in the slot blindly,” David Perron told NHL.com. “I think our line’s been guilty, for sure, of throwing some pucks in the slot that don’t result in anything other than transition for their team.”
Defensively, the Golden Knights have allowed three or more goals in five of their last 10 games.
Washington has been led by future Hall of Fame forward Alex Ovechkin and that was the case again in Game 3 with the captain scoring the first goal of the game. Ovechkin leads Washington with 14 goals this postseason.
“It’s the Stanley Cup final,” Ovechkin told the Washington Post. “What do you want to do? It’s all in for everybody.”
Added defenseman John Carlson: “He’s as engaged as anyone could ever be, I think. It shows in his game. And it shows in the effect it has on the rest of us.”
I know Washington is looking really solid right now and that they’re playing at home in game 4, but for me, Vegas’ complete desperation, elite play at both ends of the ice this season and the fact that they have an all-world goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury, leads me to believe they are going to get what amounts to a series-saving win on the road on Monday night.
The Golden Knights are 5-0 in their last 5 Monday games, a blistering 37-16 in their last 53 games playing on 1 days rest and solid 13-5 in their last 18 games overall. I know the Capitals are an insane 95-41 in their last 136 home games, 26-9 in their last 35 Monday games and 4-1 in their last 5 overall, but again, I’m going with the fact that the Knights are completely desperate to lead them to victory.
Pick: Vegas 3 Washington 2