Vegas Golden Knights at Minnesota Wild

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Vegas is at the top of the West Division with a record of 16-4-1 and 33 points. The Golden Knights lead second place, St Louis Blues, by two points. Vegas has won six straight and eight of its last 10. The Golden Knights defeated San Jose 4-0 in their most recent game on Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury posted his fourth shutout of the season that leads all goalies in the NHL and Alex Tuch scored a pair of goals for Vegas in the victory. Fleury continues to play nearly every game as backup Robin Lehner is out indefinitely as is third goalie Jiri Patera.

Minnesota has climbed into contention in the West division. The Wild are 13-8-1 with 27 points one point behind third-place Colorado, four points behind 2nd place St Louis and 6 points behind front running Vegas. Minnesota has lost three of the last four but prior to that, the Wild had won six straight. Minnesota was defeated by Arizona 5-2 on Saturday in its most recent game. Ryan Hartman is questionable for Monday. Hartmann has missed each of the last three games with a lower-body injury. Marcus Johansson is out indefinitely while Marco Rossi is out for the season.

Marc-Andre Fleury doing it all on his own

Vegas is in first place in the West Division and fourth overall in the NHL thanks to excellent goaltending by veteran netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. As a team, Vegas is allowing an average of 2.10 goals per game and on the season Fleury is 12-3-0 with a 1.60 goals against average and .942 save percentage. Fleury’s four shutouts lead the NHL and the netminder has allowed a total of 24 goals in 15 games. Robin Lehner has appeared in only five games due to injury. Oscar Dansk has appeared once in the net as Fleury’s backup. The penalty kill unit for Vegas is killing off penalties at a rate of 87.7% of the time.

Vegas scores it’s share of goals, as the Golden Knights are scoring an average of 3.33 goals per game. Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch are tied for the lead in goals scored for Vegas with 12 each. The leader in assists and overall points is Mark Stone with 21 assists and 27 points. The next closest two players in assists to Stone are William Karlsson and Shea Theodore with 11 each. The only obvious weak part of the Vegas attack is the power play unit that is scoring only 18.2% of the time and Vegas has only 12 power-play goals

Minnesota must produce more on the power play

Minnesota is scoring an average of 3.14 goals per game, but too few are coming via the power play. Minnesota has one of the NHL’s worst power-play units that is scoring only an average of 6.9% of the time with the man advantage. Minnesota has scored only 13 Power Play Goals across 22 games played. The leading goal scorer for Minnesota is Joel Eriksson Ek with eight, while Kevin Fiala and Marcos Foligno each have scored seven. Kirill Kaprizov is the leader in assists and overall points with 13 assists and 19 points. Jordan Greenway is tied for the lead in assists with 13 and is second to Kaprizov in assists with 18.

The Minnesota blue line and goaltending have been solid this season. Minnesota uses a goaltending tandem led by Kaapo Kahkonen who is 9-4-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Veteran Cam Talbot Is 4-4-1 with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Kahkonen has allowed 29 goals in 13 appearances and Talbot has allowed 27 goals in 10 appearances. The penalty kill unit for Minnesota has a success rate of 83.3% when short-handed.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Vegas has won 5 straight and the Golden Knights are first in the West Division and fourth overall in the NHL. Vegas scores its share of goals with an average of 3.33 per game but it’s the Golden Knights blue line and goaltending that sets the team apart from others. Marc-Andre Fleury has a 1.60 goals-against average and has posted an NHL-high four shutouts including a 4-0 shutout on Saturday over the San Jose Sharks. Vegas plays well on the road having won 5 of their last six away from home. Minnesota has had its problems when playing four games in a 6-day stretch having lost four of the last five in the fourth game of that situation. In addition, Minnesota has had it’s problems against top-tier teams in the NHL as the Wild have lost seven of their last eight versus a team with a winning percentage above .600.

Prediction:
Vegas Golden Knights -120

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

With Marc Andrew Fleury allowing an average of only 1.60 goals-per-game the total tends to finish under more often than not. The total has finished under in 5 of the last six road games for Vegas and in 7 of the last 10 games overall for the Golden Knights. The Minnesota goaltending tandem led by Kaapo Kahkoken is allowing an average of only 2.73 goals per game.

Prediction:
UNDER 5.5