Knights to Open West Semis Thursday with Victory over Sharks

Dana Lane

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:57 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018 5:57 PM UTC

Vegas has won seven consecutive games against teams with a winning record, and the expansion club should extend that streak against San Jose in Game 1 of the West semifinals. 

NHL Thursday: Sharks vs. Golden KnightsFree NHL Pick: Golden Knights MLBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The second round of the Western Conference playoffs finally begins Thursday, with the San Jose Sharks visiting the Vegas Golden Knights at 10 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network).

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Take a look back at the round 1 sweep 👏

as detailed by the Vegas Golden Knights broadcast crew on AT&T SportsNet and Fox Sports 98.9#VegasBorn

— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 22, 2018

The last time these two teams met was just less than a month ago, when the Golden Knights got a terrific effort from their defensive core and limited the Sharks to just 17 shots over the final 40 minutes for a 3-2 victory. Defensemen Shea Theodore and Deryk Engelland combined for three points. The highlight of the night was a game-winning shorthanded tally by William Karlsson that has been played over and over because many observers have said the between-the-legs goal was the best they’ve ever seen. Better than the move was the impact the goal had on -- on the game and on Vegas' drive to the Pacific Division title.

I’ve gone on record saying I think San Jose will win this series, but with my NHL picks for Game 1 I’m going to put myself behind the 8-ball by telling you that Vegas will win the opener. You know that I believe the Sharks will represent the West in the Stanley Cup Final but Vegas will get a huge boost from a fan base that has been waiting for this series to begin for a week. I was at a recent Golden Knights practice and you could feel a buzz in the building even hours after practice had ended. I’ve never been a huge believer in home ice, but I think it will take a game for the Sharks to get focused. If I’m San Jose coach Pete DeBoer I’m reminding my players that we split the first two games in Vegas, we own the series advantage.

The opening number on the NHL odds board offered Vegas at -130. That was low enough for the public as they backed Gerard Gallant’s team with their wallet, pushing this number up to -159 at GT Bets. You can still find a reasonable price, such as Bet Phoenix's -151, but I don’t think this number is going to last. People love the expansion Golden Knights and love to bet on them. We see more than 65% of all money-line wagers coming in on the Knights.

Jump on San Jose to win the series, but this crazy ride for Vegas continues in Game 1.

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