Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Coming into tonight’s matchup with four wins each in the series Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets meet at Bell MTS Place in first game of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals. The first puck will drop at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12, and it can be viewed live on NBC.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets Odds

Winnipeg (-145) is currently favored over Vegas (+125). The Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals and initially opened at -130 for the over and +110 for the under. Those odds have shifted, however, and they now sit at -110 for the over, -110 for the under.

The Jets are 60-34 straight up (SU) and have netted 20.8 units for moneyline bettors this season. That win percentage, ranked third in the league so far in the early season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team did during the 2016-17 season (40-42). Through 94 regular season matches, 46 of its games have gone over the total, while another 46 have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 36-11 SU at home this year.

Winnipeg’s offensive skaters attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.4 goals per contest (ranked second overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the clubs managing an average of 33.8 shots on goal ( 3.6 goals per game).

After sporting the fifth-best power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 23.4 percent of all chances), the Jets have been able to score on 22.6 percent of their power plays in the postseason. Their penalty kill has gone from 81.0 percent in the regular season to 74.2 percent in the playoffs.

Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a .924 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (52-27-10) has been the top goalkeeper for the Jets this season. If they decide to rest him, however, head coach Paul Maurice could turn to Steve Mason (5-9-9 record, .907 save percentage, 3.15 goals against average).

The Jets will continue to lean on the offensive production from Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Wheeler (106 points) has tallied 26 goals and 80 assists and has recorded two or more points on 28 different occasions this year. Laine has 47 goals and 33 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 59 games.

Vegas is 59-33 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 21.6 units this season. A total of 46 of its contests have gone over the total, while 43 have gone under and just three have pushed. As the away team, Vegas is 26-20 SU.

Vegas has converted on 21.1 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for 10th-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked seventh overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.3 percent of all penalties.

Vegas skaters have been penalized only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 4.7 per game over their past ten contests. The teams had to defend opponent power plays a whopping 14.8 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Marc-Andre Fleury (28.6 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Vegas. Fleury has 37 wins, 19 losses, and five overtime losses to his credit, and has registered a .932 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average this year.

William Karlsson (47 goals, 41 assists) and Jonathan Marchessault (31 goals, 55 assists) are the top point-getters for Vegas and will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Predictions

Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Golden Knights, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The over has hit in three of Winnipeg’s last five games.
  • Vegas has managed 29.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Winnipeg is averaging 36.4 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Power-play chances could prove to be key in this game. The Golden Knights are 24-12 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 45-20 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Jets are 26-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 40-22 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Winnipeg has forced 3.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 16th).
  • Vegas has averaged 3.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 10.4 takeaways per game (ranked second).