Game 3 of the NHL playoff series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks is set for Thursday night. This is a pivotal game as the two teams have split the first two games.
In Game 1, the Golden Knights dominated, topping the Canucks 5-0 on Sunday to start the series. However, Vancouver bounced back on Tuesday night, winning 5-2 to tie up things up.
This was the first game in the short history of the Golden Knights that they lost to Vancouver. They are now 9-1-2.
The Favored Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are favored to win this game and the series. So, the pressure is on them to come out and regain the series lead in this game.
They had a whole lot of fun on Sunday night, dominating the entire game. Players were enjoying themselves on the bench, not showing much panic as they gained a five-goal lead.
But they relaxed a bit in Game 2. The question is which Vegas team will come out on Thursday night.
“We definitely gave them a lot of room,” Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said about Tuesday’s loss. “Their skill players came into our zone like it was nothing. We made it too easy for them.”
The last time that Vegas lost two non-shootout games in a row was on Jan. 14, so they are accustomed to rebounding after a loss.
Canucks Try to Rally
Vancouver will be looking to carry some of the momentum from Game 2 into this one. They responded well after the blowout loss in Game 1.
“We wanted to make a statement, and obviously, it was a lot quieter over there (on the Vegas bench), and we’re going to try and keep it that way,” said Bo Horvat of the Canucks. “We had a great response. Everybody was selling out; everybody was blocking shots, doing whatever it took to win.”
Horvat had two goals in Game 2, making it eight goals for the postseason. He will be a big factor in their success for the remainder of this series.
Vancouver sat a franchise record for blocked shots in Game 2, and they need to keep that same energy moving forward. The effort was definitely appreciated by their goalie Jacob Markstrom.
“I know it’s not fun to see guys with ice packs after games, people blocking shots, but as a goalie, I appreciate that,” Markstrom said. “They’ve been helping me throughout the year and the playoffs. Hopefully, they’re going to keep blocking shots, helping me out.”
Vancouver has also controlled the faceoffs, winning over 66%.
Vegas has -190 odds to win Game 3 against Vancouver. They are going to be the favorite in this series, but the Canucks have shown they can be trouble.
If the Canucks continue to block shots and win faceoffs, there is a good chance of a repeat of Game 2.
However, I’m not betting on it. Take Vegas -121 in a regulation win.