The Jets recently overtook the Central Division lead over the Nashville Predators and come into Tuesday’s matchup with a division-leading 60 points through 45 games. Meanwhile, Vegas had similar aspirations to take over the Pacific Division lead, but the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks have kept pace in a heated division race. Vegas enters in third place with 60 points through 48 games, just four points back of the division-leading Flames for the top spot in the Pacific. Can Winnipeg fend off the Golden Knights at home on Tuesday evening?
Vegas gets lucky in OT vs. Blackhawks
Vegas got back on the winning track on Saturday night, winning for the eighth time in nine games by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime. The Golden Knights got some help from Blackhawks’ defenseman Carl Dahlstrom, who slid the puck into his own net 1:19 into the overtime period to help propel Vegas to victory. Golden Knights’ defenseman Shea Theodore was credited with the game-winning goal, while Alex Tuch added a goal and an assist on the night. Ryan Carpenter and Paul Stastny also scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 23 shots to earn the win.
— TRSN Vegas (@TRSNLasVegas) May 19, 2018
Fleury is scheduled to be back between the pipes for the Golden Knights on Tuesday evening. The veteran goaltender enters with a 26-11-4 overall record to go along with a 2.49 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 41 starts this year. Fleury has allowed three goals or less in 14 of his last 17 starts heading into his matchup versus the Jets on Tuesday. He made one start against Winnipeg last year, going 1-0-0 with a 1.89 GAA and a .929 save percentage in an OT-win.
Vegas comes in scoring 3.02 goals per game (13th in the NHL) and converting on 18.8 percent of the opportunities with the man advantage (16th in the NHL) this year. Thanks to some stellar goaltending, Vegas is allowing 2.63 goals per game on defense (4th in the NHL) and they’ve also killed off 82.9 percent of their total penalties (8th in the NHL) for the season.
Jets overcome two goal deficit to beat Ducks
Winnipeg won their fourth game in five contests on Sunday night, defeating the Anaheim Ducks in overtime 4-3. The Jets rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and Bryan Little scored the game-winner in the extra session to help Winnipeg remain atop the Central Division standings. Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, and Ben Chiarot also scored goals for the Jets, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 of the 31 shots that he faced on the night to get the win.
Patrik Laine with that 🔥 release. 😱 pic.twitter.com/ZSy5kr0P6o
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 7, 2018
Hellebuyck is expected to patrol the crease once again for the Jets on Tuesday. The 25-year-old is in the midst of a down year, but he still has some solid numbers on the season. He comes in with a 20-13-1 overall record to go along with a 2.87 GAA and a .908 save percentage through 35 starts. Hellebuyck made three starts versus the Golden Knights last year, going 1-1-1 with a 4.40 GAA and a disappointing .857 save percentage.
The Jets have been one of the top offensive teams in the league this year. They are scoring 3.44 goals per game (6th in the NHL), while sporting the second-best power play unit in the league. Winnipeg has converted on 28.1 percent of their power play opportunities (2nd in the NHL), which has helped them negate the damage from a middle-of-the-pack penalty killing unit. Winnipeg has killed off just 80.3 percent of their penalties (14th in the NHL) this year, but they still come in allowing just 2.82 goals per game (7th in the NHL).
- Over is 3-1-1 in Jets last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Over is 7-3 in Jets last 10 vs. Pacific.
- Over is 25-12 in Jets last 37 Tuesday games.
- Golden Knights are 6-0 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Golden Knights are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Central.
- Golden Knights are 19-7 in their last 26 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Vegas is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams and Hellebuyck has some pedestrian career numbers versus the Golden Knights head into this matchup. The Jets’ starting goaltender has also been much more vulnerable this season in comparison to years past, as his current GAA and save percentage would stand as the second-highest marks of his career in both categories. Meanwhile, Fleury has been lights out for the better part of the past two months and Vegas has been on fire during that span. Take the Golden Knights to come out on top versus one of the top home teams in the NHL on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Pick: Vegas Golden Knights +105
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings in Winnipeg and 4-1-1 in the last six meetings overall in this series, however, I’m going the opposite way here. Hellebuyck has been susceptible to some bad performances this year and he’s been more vulnerable at home than in previous seasons. The Jets remain one of the top offensive teams in the league and they have gone over in seven of their last 10 games versus Pacific Division opponents. On the other hand, the over is 3-1-1 in Vegas’ last five games versus teams from the Central Division. Take this Western Conference battle to go over the projected total at the MTS Centre on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Over 6