- The unbeaten Vegas Golden Knights (3-0 ) are 1.5-point favorites going into Wednesday’s home game against the Arizona Coyotes
- The contest will be broadcasted on ESPN+ at 10 PM EST on January 20th, 2021
- See the game odds, spread, total, plus a preview below
The Vegas Golden Knights can become the first NHL team to reach 4-0 this season if they beat the Arizona Coyotes (1-1-1) Wednesday in the second of back-to-back meetings.
Goalie Robin Lehner made 30 saves Monday night to pace the Golden Knights to a 4-2 win against the Coyotes. The Golden Knights were 2-1 against the Coyotes last season, with one of their triumphs coming in a shootout.
Over the first three games, the Golden Knights have only outscored the Coyotes 11-10, but the Coyotes have given up 11 goals while Vegas has surrendered only five.
This will be the second of four consecutive games Vegas and Arizona will play under the temporary series-based scheduling the NHL is using during the pandemic. The two teams are playing two games in Vegas and then two in Arizona.
Coyotes vs Golden Knights Odds
|Arizona Coyotes||+165||+1.5 (-152)||O 5.5 (-120)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-200||-1.5 (+128)||U 5.5 (-103)|
Odds taken Jan. 19 at DraftKings
Stone’s Arrival Tied Vegas Offense Together
When Mark Stone was named the Golden Knights’ first captain, it seemed like a logical decision. As soon as he stepped into the lineup after the trade with Ottawa, the Golden Knights seemed like Stone’s team.
The Golden Knights had a quality offense before Stone’s arrival last season. Now, the Vegas offense seems deeper, stronger, and more consistent. In addition to being a big number contributor, Stone is a glue type player.
And now with the addition of free agent signing Alex Pietrangelo, the team seems to have the final piece necessary to make a serious run at returning to the Stanley Cup Final.
Although the Golden Knights fumbled the handling of the Marc-Andre Fleury situation, they start this season with one of the NHL’s top goaltending tandems.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 19, 2021
It’s difficult to know where the Coyotes are at in their retooling. In the offseason, it looked like they were going trade Oliver-Ekman Larsson and then they didn’t do it. There were rumors that they were going to shed payroll, but that didn’t happen in any meaningful way.
The bottom line is the Coyotes have an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot again, but everything has to go right.
Goalie Darcy Kuemper has to be exceptional, Clayton Keller must take his game to a higher level, Phil Kessel needs to net 25 goals, and the defense needs to perform as well as it did last season. Young players must step up, such as Barrett Hayton who scored his first NHL goal Jan. 16 against the Sharks.
The Coyotes do have an underrated coach in Rick Tocchet who keeps his team churning in the right direction.
The rare Phil Kessel backhander. https://t.co/bBvLC17d4b
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) January 16, 2021
Ekman-Larsson Still on Shelf
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Coyotes’ captain, is listed as “week-to-week” after suffering a lower-body injury Saturday after a hit against the boards by San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane.
The best guess is that Ekman-Larsson will be out three or four weeks as a minimum.
Bad news from Coyotes camp: Sounds like captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is going to miss significant time after last night's hit from San Jose's Evander Kane. https://t.co/LqmaOtkwzT
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) January 17, 2021
He is the trigger man of Arizona’s offense, evidenced by the fact he had three assists in the game before suffering the injury. The Coyotes’ transition game is rendered less dangerous by his absence.
Vegas has no noteworthy injuries to report.
Believe in the Golden Knights
With Ekman-Larson sidelined and the Golden Knights starting strong, it’s hard not to see Vegas covering the spread in this game. Pietrangelo’s acquisition tightened up the Golden Knights defense the way that Mark Stone’s acquisition’s last season seemed to pull the offense together. The Golden Knights are undeniably one of the true Stanley Cup contenders.
Pick: Golden Knights -1.5 (+128)
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