A couple of hot teams at opposite ends of the Pacific Division standings will meet at Rogers Arena tonight when the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Vancouver Canucks.
Vegas, which comes in as the -140 road favorite, has picked up eight wins in its last 10 games while playing in plenty of high-scoring contests. At the other end of the rink, Vancouver sits well out of the playoff picture but is 7-1-0 in its last eight contests thanks to some improved defensive play and strong goaltending.
Find out if Vegas can find a way to solve a suddenly stingy Canucks defense in our Golden Knights vs Canucks NHL picks and predictions for Tuesday, March 21.
Golden Knights vs Canucks best odds
Golden Knights vs Canucks picks and predictions
The Golden Knights have been a fascinating team this season, as they’ve performed exceptionally well and sit atop the Pacific Division despite a ton of injuries to key players.
With usual starter Robin Lehner already out for the year, Vegas has also seen Laurent Brossoit, Logan Thompson, and Adin Hill all go down as well in recent weeks, leaving the net to trade deadline acquisition Jonathan Quick.
Quick was a perfect 4-0-0 through his first four games with the Golden Knights but got lit up for six goals on 29 shots by the Flames in his last outing on March 16. The former Kings netminder was having a terrible season in Los Angeles with an .876 SV% and a 3.50 GAA through 31 appearances, and we saw flashes of that again last week.
Vegas has been playing good hockey and scoring plenty of goals in front of Quick, but he’ll need to be a lot better to keep this train rolling.
The Canucks are playing their best hockey of the season at arguably the most inopportune time as they’re virtually eliminated from the playoffs — a streak that coincides with the return of Thatcher Demko. Vancouver’s starter is 5-2-0 in his last seven outings, posting a sterling .933 SV% and a 1.99 GAA over that span.
It’s been more than just hot goaltending for the Canucks, though, as their star players have also been productive in March — Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller have 12 points apiece to lead the team through its last nine games.
Pettersson, in particular, is the heartbeat of Vancouver’s offense and comes into tonight’s contest on an eight-game point streak and goals in three straight.
With Quick looking shaky and Pettersson on fire, look for the Canucks star to stay hot and get on the score sheet again.
My best bet: Elias Pettersson Over 0.5 goals (+116)
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Golden Knights vs Canucks moneyline analysis
The Golden Knights are definitely the favorite on paper given their position in the standings, but we can’t overlook how good the Canucks have been with Demko back in the fold.
Since the start of March, Vancouver is 7-2-0 while allowing just 2.00 GAPG — the second-best mark in the NHL behind only Los Angeles (1.75 GAPG). The Canucks have also been one of the stingiest teams in terms of shots against over that span, allowing just 27.3 shots per game (sixth in the NHL), so it’s not like Demko has just stolen games on his own.
If there’s one team that could solve Vancouver’s stingy defense, though, it might be Vegas. The Golden Knights are averaging 4.50 GPG through their last six outings, scoring at least four goals in five of those games and five-plus goals in three of them.
On the other hand, Vegas did allow seven goals against just two games ago and has given up 3.75 GPG through its last four outings, so we could see a bit of a shootout depending on goaltending.
With both teams playing good hockey and looking evenly matched, I’m actually going to take the Canucks as I think Demko will give them the edge versus an inconsistent Quick.
Golden Knights vs Canucks Over/Under analysis
The total opened at 6.5 goals but some books slid down to 6 by Monday night. Based on head-to-head history coupled with some strong trends we’ve seen from Vegas, I’m liking the Over for tonight’s matchup.
History tells us that the Golden Knights and Canucks play some high-scoring games — the teams have combined for at least six goals in five of their last six meetings, with three of those games featuring at least nine tallies. The Over is also 8-3 in their last 11 matchups at Rogers Arena.
Vegas, in particular, has played high-octane hockey of late with the Over cashing in each of its last four games while all those contests featured at least eight goals. Going back to early March, the Over has cashed in seven of the Golden Knights’ last nine games so this has been a pattern for the visitors.
Whether the Golden Knights find a way to solve Demko or Quick has a bad night, I expect to see a lot of goals in this one.
Golden Knights vs Canucks betting trend to know
The Golden Knights are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Vancouver. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs Canucks.
Golden Knights vs Canucks game info
|Location:||Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 21, 2023|
|Puck drop:||10:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||ATTSN-RM, Sportsnet Pacific|