Everything is on the line for the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4.
After losing in Overtime in Game 3, the Vegas Golden Knights now trail the Dallas Stars 2-1 in the Western Conference.
As such, they can’t afford to lose tonight and then face a win-or-go home scenario in Game 5 on Monday.
As already stated, Game 4 is gigantic for the Golden Knights.
While teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to advance, the Knights don’t want to go into Game 5 facing elimination with the Stars sniffing the Stanley Cup Final.
So tonight’s contest is going to be crucial for the Golden Knights and they are going to have to iron out a few kinks in order to succeed.
Just five goals in three games isn’t good enough, especially with the firepower that Vegas has at its disposal.
The power play needs to be better too and, as we saw in Game 3, the Golden Knights need to do a better job of dealing with Dallas’ gameplan.
The Stars clog the slot, allow their opponent to get a shot off and then hit them with a sucker-punch on a breakaway or an odd-man rush.
They scored all three of their goals in Game 3 on an odd-man rush or a breakaway, and that can’t happen again.
The Golden Knights need to find ways of getting pucks through traffic and on net, and they need to generate more second chances.
And it has to start tonight.
Dallas will be the home team and will get the last change.
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Vegas Golden Knights 1-2-0
Nick Cousins is expected to take Nosek’s spot in the lineup.
Here’s the Vegas Golden Knights Projected Lineup for Game 4, per nhl.com…
Dallas Stars 2-1-0
The Stars have been dealt a blow prior to Game 4 with bottom-six grinder Radek Faksa Unfit To Play with a hand injury.
Faksa plays in all situations for the Stars and is the real engine of this team, so his absence could play into the hands of the Golden Knights.
Here is the Dallas Stars Projected Lineup for Game 4, per nhl.com…
Vegas Golden Knights Postseason Leaders
Shea Theodore: 18 points (7 G, 11 A)
Mark Stone: 17 points (7G, 10 A)
Reilly Smith: 13 points (4 G, 9 A)
Alex Tuch: 11 points (8 G, 3 A)
William Karlsson: 10 points (4 G, 6 A)
Dallas Stars Postseason Leaders
Miro Heiskanen: 22 points (5 G, 17 A)
Jamie Benn: 16 points (6 G, 10 A)
Denis Gurianov: 15 points (8 G, 7 A)
John Klingberg: 13 points (3 G, 10 A)
Joe Pavelski: 13 points (8 G, 5 A)
Power Play: VGK: 19.0% (10th) – DAL: 25.9% (5th)
Penalty Kill: VGK: 88.9% (5th) – DAL: 82.9% (11th)
Faceoff: VGK: 44.7% (23rd) – DAL: 49.8% (13th)
GF/GP: VGK: 3.00 (6th) – DAL: 3.00 (7th)
GA/GP: VGK: 2.17 (2nd) – DAL: 3.21 (16th)
Call me mad but I’m going to stick my neck on the line here.
The Golden Knights have dominated puck possession and a number of metrics in this series so far, but they just can’t light the lamp.
I predict that something will click in Game 4 and, if the Golden Knights can get traffic to the net, the pucks will fly in.
Let’s hope I’m right.
Puck Drop: 5:00 p.m. PT
Venue: Rogers Place, Edmonton
Radio: FOX Sports 98.9/1340