Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights Matchup Preview

T-Mobile Arena is the site for an East-West matchup as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights square off against the Florida Panthers. The opening face-off takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 17, and you’ll be able to catch it live on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.

Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights Odds

Vegas heads into the game as the substantial favorite with a moneyline of -170. The line for Florida sits at +150, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -120 under, +100 over.

Netting 12.9 units for moneyline bettors, Vegas is 20-11 straight up (SU) overall thus far. Through 31 regular season contests, 19 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 12-3 SU at home this year.

The Golden Knights have converted on 18.9 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 80.6 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Golden Knights have been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays for just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, overall.

With a .872 save percentage and 23.9 saves per game, Maxime Lagace (seven wins, seven losses, and one OT loss) has been the best option in goal for the Knights this season. If the Knights decide to give him a breather, however, head coach Gerard Gallant might turn to Malcolm Subban (8-2-2 record, .924 save percentage, 2.33 goals against average).

Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson will each lead the offensive attack for the Golden Knights. Marchessault (26 points) is up to 10 goals and 16 assists and has recorded two or more points eight times this year. Karlsson has 15 goals and 11 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 18 contests.

On the other side of the rink, Florida is 12-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 32 regular season matches, 16 of its games have gone over the total, while another 16 have gone under and none have pushed. As the visiting team so far, the Panthers are 6-11 SU.

The Panthers have converted on just 17.3 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 24th overall and it’s successfully defended 78.8 percent of all penalties.

Florida’s skaters have been penalized 4.4 times per game in total this season, and 5.8 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays 14.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

James Reimer (3.48 goals against average and .896 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Florida. Reimer is averaging 26.7 saves per game and has six wins, 13 losses, and four OT losses to his credit.

Vincent Trocheck (13 goals, 19 assists) and Jonathan Huberdeau (nine goals, 23 assists) have been the top playmakers for Florida and will pace the offensive counter for the visiting Panthers.

Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Golden Knights, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Power-play chances could play a critical role in tonight’s matchup. The Panthers are 3-11 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 5-12 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Golden Knights are 8-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 12-8 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Florida is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Vegas is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Vegas could hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 10-4 in games decided by one goal, while Florida is 6-11 in such games.
  • Vegas is ranked 19th this season with 10.0 giveaways per game. That figure has improved, however, as the teams averaged 8.4 giveaways over its last 10 games and 8.2 giveaways over its last five.
  • Florida is ranked 28th this season with 12.4 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the teams averaged 11.1 giveaways over its last 10 games and 9.8 giveaways over its last five.