Wed, Mar 31, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Vegas Golden Knights (24-8-1, 49 points) host the Los Angeles Kings (13-14-6, 32 points) on Wednesday, March 31, at 10 PM ET at the T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas has won two in a row, while Los Angeles is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Golden Knights have a one-point lead atop the West Division, while the Kings are sitting in sixth place.
Vegas holds a 4-1 lead in the eight-game regular-season series. The Golden Knights have scored four or more goals in four out of five games in the series. The lone game where Vegas was held to less than four goals was a 3-1 loss.
The Golden Knights are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games played, while the Kings are just 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
The last game played for both teams came against each other in the front-end of a back-to-back. The Golden Knights came away with a 4-1 victory over the Kings.
Los Angeles led 1-0 after the first period, but Vegas scored three times in the second en route to the 4-1 win.
Vegas goals were scored by Tomas Nosek, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, and Nicolas Hague. Vegas is now 14-2-1 at home and has won 14 of their last 18 games played.
The Kings were 0-for-3 on the power play, which is a night off for them as they have the ninth-best power play unit in the league.
“I didn’t think we played a real poor game, it’s a hard game to evaluate right now,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We’ve been in this building where we’ve been under siege and given up 50 shots and our goalies have to stand on their head. Tonight, it didn’t feel like that. I just thought they were a lot more opportunistic than we were. When we had opportunities we just didn’t do it.”
Nosek's goal in the second period broke a 1-1 tie and was effectively the game-winner.
“Pretty happy about it; I think the first 15, 20 games (the fourth line) didn’t produce much, we’ve got some bounces and some tips lately,” Nosek said. “COVID wasn’t exactly what I wanted. My son was born, so it was a good thing. One of the best things of my life. Right now our line is clicking so hopefully we can keep going. It’s good when all four lines are rolling and coach can trust us.”
The game was the first since last Wednesday for the Kings, who outshot the Golden Knights 10-3 by the middle of the first period.
“We knew they would have some juice to start; we were kind of standing around watching,” Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer said. “I think the second half of the first period, we started to get our legs and skate. In the second and third, we found our game.”
Vegas capped the scoring on the night when Martinez notched the fourth goal of the game. He played for the Kings during the first 10 years of his career.
“It was nice, obviously a good feeling,” Martinez said about scoring against his former team. “I was more concerned of trying to close it out in the third. On a personal level, it’s cool, but more concerned on the team side of it, trying to put another nail in the coffin.”
In a rarity, there are no players on the injured list for either team ahead of tonight's divisional contest.
Vegas has the money line in its favor at -220 and the spread at -1.5. The Over-Under is set at 5.5 total goals. The Golden Knights are on a roll and a much more talented team than the Kings. Place your NHL wager on the Golden Knights at home with the -1.5 spread as they move past the 50-point threshold on the season.