- Alexander Radulov’s game-winning overtime goal flipped the series odds in favour of the Dallas Stars
- While Dallas leads the series over the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1, the teams remain dead even statistically
- Read below for our odds, analysis and our prediction on the Western Conference Final
The Dallas Stars are flying high after Alexander Radulov’s well-placed snapshot ended Game 3 of the Western Conference final. It put the third seed up 2-1 in their series against the top seeded Vegas Golden Knights.
The goal puts Dallas back in a familiar position. They led the series after a 1-0 opening game shutout of Vegas. Since then Vegas has found their legs, but the Stars are fending them off for the meantime. This has flipped the series odds slightly in favor of the team in green, after beginning the series as +176 underdogs.
Stars vs Golden Knights Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+100|
*odds from September 11
Stars and Golden Knights Have Similar Offensive Production
Both Vegas and Dallas are looking to unlikely sources for offense these playoffs. Both teams are led in scoring by defencemen. This playoff season has been Miro Heiskanen’s coming out party – his 22 points are tops for the Stars. It’s been a similar story for Shea Theodore of Vegas. He leads Vegas with 18 points, leading to many suggestions that the Knights have found their No. 1 defenceman from within.
There is quite a battle of young star blueliners brewing between Vegas’ Shea Theodore and Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen in the Western Conference final…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) September 11, 2020
From there, the parallels persist.
After their leading scorers, Vegas and Dallas both do not have a single player producing above a point per game. Both teams are looking for more out of one of their stars – Tyler Seguin and Max Pacioretty are both struggling with eight points apiece.
Captain Jamie Benn is second in Stars scoring, while Mark Stone, widely speculated to be the first captain in Golden Knights history, is second on Vegas in points.
All stat lines suggest the differences between these teams is razor thin. It’s quite literally anyone’s to win, and while the odds have flipped into Dallas’s favor, it’s still rightfully tight.
Vegas Badly Outshoots Dallas in Game 3
While Radulov’s quick disposal of the Golden Knights puts Vegas in a precarious position, they are by no means out of the series.
The most evident reason is the Game 3’s shot clock. In order for the Stars to emerge victorious, Anton Khudobin had to make 38 saves on 40 shots. This compares to just 23 shots for the Stars. Considering overtime only lasted 31 seconds, the Knights generated a ton of offence. They were simply unable to solve the upstart Dallas netminder.
Friday Links: Khudobin to the Rescue
In classic Stars fashion, goaltending is what saved the day in a Game 3 win. Plus, Jamie Benn’s playoff resurgence, what we can(‘t) learn from this year’s Conference Finalists, and more. https://t.co/XDsQSy2r1I pic.twitter.com/68OjDlnmvG
— DefendingBigD (@DefendingBigD) September 11, 2020
This is not the first time Vegas’ top players have been left scratching their heads trying to solve a hot goalie – Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko served that role in their second round series. His near perfect .985 save percentage was stellar, and was enough to lift the Canucks to a Game 7 with Vegas. But it was still not enough to outlast the Golden Knights’ gifted four lines. A late third period goal won Game 7 and the series for Vegas.
Vegas already have solved Khudobin, beating the Stars convincingly with a 3-0 shutout in Game 2. They are currently -159 favorites to tie the series at two games apiece. Over the course of a seven-game series, it’s still difficult to imagine a sustainable path to victory for Khudobin and the Stars.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (+100)
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