Why the Vegas Golden Knights Must Win at T-Mobile Arena This Series

One statistic shows why the Vegas Golden Knights must him at home on Monday. Here's a look at what that is.
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Three
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Three / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

T-Mobile Arena has been the friendly home for the Vegas Golden Knights since they took the ice in 2017. Overall, it's been more than pleasant for Vegas: it was named the toughest place to play by the NHLPA. One would think the nightlife and spectacle of Las Vegas make it a tough road city.

However, there's a bigger challenge at hand for the defending champions. The Golden Knights are tasked with another challenge: Beating a Dallas Stars team that's efficient on the road. How efficient? They had the best road record during the regular season (26-10-5). These road warriors are scarier than a tag team in the WWE.

Therefore, home cooking has a greater emphasis. It isn't just about the pre-game festivities, Lee Orchard conquering another foe or the theatrics. The Dallas Stars have been exceptional at one thing this year, making them more dangerous than most NHL teams.

Why the Golden Knights Winning At T-Mobile Arena Matters More

The Dallas Stars have been the NHL's best road team this season. That's no secret. With the offensive firepower the Stars have, it's easy to see why the group is tough on the road. Young stars like Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson make Dallas dangerous, with scoring threats on every line.

But it isn't just the scoring that's been dangerous. Goaltender Jake Oettinger has been excellent on the road as well, boasting a record of 18-6-2. His stats back this up, with a save percentage of .912 and a GA/G of 2.67.

In fact, Oettinger's been better on the road than at American Airlines Center. His home stats are more pedestrian, with a save percentage of .898 and a GA/G of 2.78. To top things off, he has two road shutouts compared to one at American Airlines Center this season.

What the Vegas Golden Knights Must Do

As for the Golden Vegas Knights, they have a home record of 27-12-2 this season. Playing into the crowd noise and enthusiasm is key to their success. That means starting fast and attacking Oettinger often. That goes for the power play, where the Stars' goaltender is weakest.

Also, take the neutral zone away from the Stars. In Game 3, Dallas took control of the center of the ice, creating numerous scoring opportunities and high danger chances. They also attacked the middle of the offensive zone, which came from claiming the neutral zone.

If the Vegas Golden Knights start fast and take back the neutral zone from the Dallas Stars, they can take command of the series. But they can't continue to be stuck in the middle of the ice. The Golden Knights must use the crowd to their advantage, feeding off their energy. Otherwise, the Stars will become the Ayatollahs of Rock and Rolla... and Las Vegas.

26-10-5. 119. ESPN. Game 4, Vegas vs. Dallas. 27-12-2. VGK -105. 6:30 PM PST. April 29, 2024. 942