The Pacific Division meets the Metro Division this evening as the Vegas Golden Knights pay a visit to PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina to grapple with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Golden Knights are off a 4-3 OT loss to the Panthers on the road, while the Hurricanes have a road game against Detroit on Saturday, so they will be playing this game on no rest. Goalie Probables: The Golden Knights will be sending out Marc-Andre Fleury and he will be opposed by Scott Darling.
Lines: Vegas -125/Carolina +105
Knights Fall To The Panthers In OT
The Vegas Golden Knights continue to surprise and the continue to maintain a 10 point lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division, but they do enter this game off a 4-3 OT loss to the Panthers on the road. Could they be starting to slide a little as they have now lost three of their last four games? Probably not as they are a solid team at both ends of the ice and they still are a dominant home team. This is just a little lull that teams go through and they will now be looking to avoid just their 2nd two-game losing streak since back in the beginning of December. Scoring in the loss to the Panthers was David Perron, which was his 11th of the year, William Karlsson, which was his team-leading 25th and James Neal, which was his 20th. The Golden Knights have gone 12-11 on the road and they have averaged 3.09 gpg and have allowed 3.13 gpg in those games.
Absorbing the loss against the Panthers was Malcolm Subban, who allowed four goals on 26 shot attempts to fall to 11-3 with a 2.49 GAA and a .914 save percentage on the year. Marc-Andre Fleury will get the nod in this game and he has gone 10-5 with a 1.72 GAA and a .945 save percentage on the year, including 4-2 with a 1.33 GAA and a .959 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 156-148 with a 2.75 GAA on the road and 45-35 with a 2.42 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Hurricanes he has gone 16-14 with a 2.51 GAA.
The Golden Knights have been solid on offense so far as they rank 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 10th in shots taken (32.9 spg) and 24th in power play conversions, converting on 16.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 8th in goals allowed, giving up 2.67 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (30.4 spg) and 15th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.2% of their chances.
The Hurricanes Are Hanging In There
It has been a less than stellar season for the Carolina Hurricanes so far, but still, despite the struggles that they have had, they are still just five points out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They are hanging in there, but they have been struggling a bit of late as they have lost six of their last eight games and are back in last place in the Metro Division. They really need this game badly, but it will not be easy as the Golden Knights are a strong and the Canes are playing on no rest. Leading the Canes in scoring this year has been Sebastian Aho, who has 16 goals on the year and he also leads them in points with 37, but he may have been lost for the season, which would be a huge blow to an already struggling offense. The Hurricanes have gone 10-10 here at home for the year and they have averaged 2.75 gpg and have allowed 2.90 gpg in those games.
Scott Darling may get the start in this one and 9-18 with a 2.94 GAA and a .895 save percentage on the year, including 5-7 with a 2.84 GAA and a .900 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 24-17 with a 2.23 GAA in his home games and 23-25 with a 2.44 GAA against the Western Conference. This would be his first meeting with the Golden Knights. We may see Cam Ward in this one and he has gone 11-7 with a 2.85 GAA and a .904 save percentage on the year, including 5-3 with a 2.63 GAA and a .906 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 179-147 with a 2.46 GAA in his home games and 61-78 with a 2.79 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Golden Knights he is 1-0 with a 1.85 GAA.
Carolina has been a below average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 22nd in the league in scoring 2.73 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots taken (34.5 spg) and 20th in power play conversions, converting on 17.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average so far as they come in ranked 22nd in goals allowed, giving up 3.04 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (29.1 spg) and 24th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.1% of their chances.
- 7-1 in their last eight games playing on one days rest
- 7-1 in their last eight vs. the Eastern Conference
- 4-12 in their last 16 vs. the Western Conference
- 1-7 in their last eight vs. the Pacific
Carolina needs this game in the worst way, but they will be playing this game on no rest and against a team that hasn’t lost two games in a row since back in the beginning of December. The Golden Knights have lost three of their last four games and have not played as well on the road as at home, but they are still the better team with a strong edge on offense and an even stronger one in the crease. The Hurricanes have been very mediocre at home for the year and they will be without their top scorers, so just don’t see them having enough in the tank to take down the mighty Golden Knights in this one.