There’s three things the Vegas Golden Knights need to do if they want to win Game 3.
It is a titanic showdown tonight between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.
Dallas landed the first blow with a win in Game 1 but the Golden Knights responded in a huge way with three goals and a shutout in Game 2.
This series looks set to go the full seven but whoever comes out on top in Game 3 will find themselves in a pretty good spot.
Here’s Three Keys to the Vegas Golden Knights beating the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.
Key 1 – Set The Tempo
The Golden Knights have met their match in the Dallas Stars and it is an incredibly tough matchup for Vegas.
They went a goal behind early in Game 1 and could never quite recover, while we all saw what happened in Game 2.
So, with that in mind, it would be in the Golden Knights’ best interest to set the tone and set the tempo from the drop of the puck in Game 3.
They have to get shots on net, get traffic to the net, win the puck battles, win the mental battle and beat Dallas’ suffocating forecheck.
If Vegas can tick all of those boxes then that should pave the way for them to dominate in Game 3.
Key 2 – Get The Offense Going
Goalies and stubborn defenses have been the story of this series so far.
The Stars pitched a shutout in Game 1 and the Golden Knights did the same in Game 2.
While we probably shouldn’t expect a shutout in Game 3 tonight, both teams have had troubles with their offense after the opening two games of the Western Conference Final.
The Golden Knights in particularly have struggled to light the lamp as of late, scoring just seven goals in their last five games.
That isn’t good enough, especially given the boatload of potent weapons on this Golden Knights roster.
As a result, Vegas needs to rediscover their scoring touch and throw puck after puck on the Stars net tonight.
They need to do a better job of generating high-danger and Grade A chances, they need to do a better job of getting traffic to the net and they need to do a much better job of forcing rebounds and second shots on net.
Because, let’s face it, the Golden Knights have enough firepower to sink a battleship and they are due a game where they absolutely go off.
Key 3 – Special Teams
This will be a short one because it is similar to the point we made in Key 2, but the Golden Knights need more from their power play.
A lot more.
Heading into Game 3 the Golden Knights are operating at a 18.5% clip on the man advantage, which is ranked 11th in the NHL.
They went a combined 5/23 in the Second Round against the Vancouver Canucks, including just 1/10 in the final three games of that series.
They did convert on the PP in Game 2 against the Stars thanks to William Karlsson‘s second period goal, but they finished the game 1/6 on the man advantage.
Those kind of numbers won’t get the job done in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and, given how key special teams are at this time of year, the Golden Knights need to iron out the kinks in their power play and get back to being an absolute offensive juggernaut.
If not then the Dallas Stars have the talent and the depth to outmatch them and take this series.