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Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 Preview

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Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 Preview
Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights is defended by players of the Colorado Avalanche . Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Las Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are set to collide in Game 5 on Tuesday, all while the series is delicately poised on a 2-2 mark. Home advantage has been deciding in this series thus far with both sides winning both of their home games to the delight of their fans.

So, as the series heads back to Colorado for Game 5, the Avalanche will hope to capitalize on home advantage and reclaim the lead in the series once again. Indeed, the Avs are getting the nod with multiple best sportsbooks cornering this game in their camp. However, the Golden Knights can’t be overlooked in NHL betting either. They’ll be motivated to buck the trend and serve up the series’ first road win, otherwise, they simply won’t have any hope of clinching this series and advancing in the playoffs when the Avs have two of the next three games in their building.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

Tuesday, June 08, 2021 – 09:00 PM EDT at Pepsi Center

Avs on Two-Game Slide

The Colorado Avalanche dropped back-to-back games on the road and just like that the series with the Golden Knights is tied 2-2 after they got off to a bright start by winning the first two games.

It goes without saying that it’s been a disappointing road stretch. Coach Jared Bednar called out the team after they lost Game 3 to the Golden Knights 3-2 last week. He criticized his side’s lack of competitiveness and production in the loss. Whether that had an impact however is widely debatable because the Avs were left reeling in 5-1 beatdown in Game 4 on Sunday.

Surprisingly, following the second defeat, Bednar was more upbeat about his side’s performance despite the lopsided score. "At least we entered the fight tonight and got in it," the Colorado coach said about Game 4. "I didn't like the results. They scored some timely goals; we missed on some opportunities."

Bednar added further thoughts about what he thought of Colorado’s performance and where they go from here. "We've just got to find a way to keep working and get a little bit more sustained pressure," Bednar said. "One of the things we talked about was fighting for our ice and making sure we're earning every inch of our ice. It's not easy to find space out there, but you've just got to stay with it, and eventually someone makes a play. We've got some improving to do in that area still."

Golden Knights Have Momentum

The Golden Knights perked up considerably after opening the series with a 7-1 loss to the Avs in Game 1. For top sportsbooks, they’ve raised their game perceptibly and rattled the Avs in the process too. The series might be tied 2-2 but the Golden Knights have outplayed and outmuscled the Avs and outshot them since the first period of Game 2 by 110-52 shots.

Sunday’s win was the most convincing victory by Golden Knights in the series. Jonathan Marchessault had his first career hattrick in the playoffs while Patrick Brown and Max Pacioretty contributed a goal each. Marc-Andre Fleury had a solid night but not a taxing one with just 18 shots fired his way through three periods. By contrast, the Golden Knights had Philipp Grubauer under constant pressure and a barrage of shots.

Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates with teammates. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Clearly, effort and production aren’t the problems for the Golden Knights that it is for the Avalanche right now. The Avs did take the early lead in the game following Brandon Saad’s goal, but then Jonathan Marchessault and the Avs took over. They wreaked havoc on the Avs, controlled the tempo, and generated better chances in the game. Overall, the Avs looked damn right pedestrian and nowhere near the team that finished with the best record in the league.

NHL Predictions and Picks

When the series started, it really looked like the Avs might steamroll the Golden Knights just as they did the Blues in the first round. However, the Golden Knights didn’t back down and turned things around rather convincingly. As it stands, the NHL odds for Game 5 corner this game with the Avs at -145 to win while the Golden Knights are the considerable underdogs at +130 or thereabouts.

Devon Toews #7 and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #41 of the Colorado Avalanche talk during a break. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

If there’s one thing that the Avalanche had going for them in the playoffs up to this point is the fact that they’re 4-0 SU in the playoffs at home. The Avs swept their first round series with the St. Louis Blues in four straight games and then went on to win their first two home games in this series before dropping the last two. Whether that trend continues remains to be seen but it’s certainly something to hang one’s hat on in the betting

NHL Picks: Avalanche -1.5 (+172) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Avalanche -1.5(+172)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.