Friday evening NHL action and a pair of teams from the Pacific Division will square off as the Vancouver Canucks duke it out with the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Canucks enter this game off a 5-4 OT loss at home to the Avalanche, while the Golden Knights are off of a 7-3 home win over the Flames. Goalie Probables: getting the nod for the Canucks will be Anders Nilsson and he will be opposed by Marc-Andre Fleury.
Canucks Fall To Avs At Home
The Vancouver Canucks continue to have a lost season and they have now lost seven of their last nine games after falling to the Avs at home by a score of 5-4 in OT. it was a tough loss for them as they had a 4-3 lead until the Avs tied it with just 3:01 left in the game and then they won it in OT. The Canucks are now 18 points out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff standings, so they are well out of playoff contention and just seem to be playing out the string. Their offense has looked a bit bitter of late as they have scored 20 goals in their last five games, after notching a total of six goals in their previous four games. They will need their offense to show up in this one if they hope to win it as the Golden Knights will put some goals on the board. Scoring in the loss to the Avs was Darren Archibald, which was his 1st of the year, Nikolay Goldobin, which was his 3rd, Bo Horvat, which was his 16th and Brandon Sutter, which was his 5th. The Canucks have gone 12-18 on the road and they have averaged 2.63 gpg and have allowed 3.03 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Avalanche was Anders Nilsson, who allowed five goals on 34 shot attempts to fall to 7-12 with a 3.34 GAA and a .907 save percentage on the year, while out on the road he has gone 5-7 with a 2.96 GAA and a .918 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 16-36 with a 3.14 GAA on the road and 7-10 with a 2.36 GAA against the Pacific Division. This would be his first meeting with Vegas. Jacob Markstrom (Questionable) may get the nod in this game and he has gone 16-25 with a 2.78 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, including 7-11 with a 2.83 GAA and a .907 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 25-47 with a 2.88 GAA on the road and 14-22 with a 3.13 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Golden Knights he has gone 0-1 with a 4.03 GAA.
The Canucks have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 25th in the league in scoring at 2.68 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots taken (30.0 spg) and 10th in power play conversions, converting on 21.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they come in ranked 25th in goals allowed, giving up 3.18 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots allowed (32.2 spg) and 26th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.2% of their chances.
Golden Knights Easily Douse The Flames
The Golden Knights have a 10-point lead in their division, so their focus at the moment is the President’s Cup, which is awarded to the team with the most points in the league. They have been battling with the Lightning for that honor and just took over the league lead in points with 84 after they easily took down the Flames at home by a score of 7-3. It was just a 4-3 lead as the teams headed to the 3rd and then the Golden Knights broke it open with three goals in the final frame. Scoring for the Knights in the win was Ryan Carpenter, which was his 6th of the year, William Karlsson, which was his team-leading 31st, Reilly Smith, which was his 20, Alex Tuch, which was his 11th, Luca Sbisa, which was his 2nd, Luca Sbisa, which was his 6th and Cody Eakin, which was his 7th. The Golden Knights have gone 23-7 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.62 gpg and have allowed 2.27 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win against the Flames was Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 28 of the 31 shots that he faced to improve to 20-9 with a 2.10 GAA and a .930 save percentage on the year, including 11-6 with a 2.17 GAA and a .925 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 234-144 with a 2.41 GAA in his home games and 50-24 with a 2.19 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Canucks he has gone6-2 with a 3.04 GAA.
The Golden Knights have been very good on offense so far as they rank 2nd in the league in scoring at 3.45 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots taken (32.8 spg) and 8th in power play conversions, converting on 21.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up 2.68 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots allowed (30.2 spg) and 16th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.2% of their chances.
- 17-37 in their last 54 vs. a team with a winning record
- 0-7 in their last seven after allowing five goals or more in their previous game
- 15-3 in their last 18 vs. the Pacific
- 21-7 in their last 28 games playing on one days rest
Can the Canucks hang with the best team in the league? I don’t think so. The Canucks have lost seven of their last nine games and while their offense has been better of late, we note that the Golden Knights have allowed just 2.27 gpg here at home for the year. Vancouver just won’t be able to get their offense going enough to keep this one close, especially since the Golden Knights have averaged 4.00 gpg in their last nine games and 3.63 gpg here at home for the year. The Canucks have allowed four or more goals in six of their last nine games and just won’t be able to slow this offense down in this one. Look for another easy win for the Golden Knights.