Knights Looking Golden for Game 5 of West Semis vs. Sharks

Dana Lane

Thursday, May 3, 2018 6:32 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 3, 2018 6:32 PM UTC

Vegas is 39-19 in its last 58 games against Western Conference opponents, and the expansion team will continue in that direction when its series with San Jose resumes Friday.

NHL Friday: Sharks vs. Golden KnightsFree NHL Pick: Golden Knights MLBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The Vegas Golden Knights know that despite losing Game 4 on Wednesday, the San Jose Sharks still have to beat them in two of the next three games to advance to the Western Conference finals. Vegas seemed to be missing its normal intensity, allowing the Sharks to grab a 4-0 home win on the back of 34 quiet saves from Martin Jones. With the series now tied at 2, the action returns to Vegas for Game 5 on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBC Sports Network).

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On a mission....

to collect 16 wins


— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 3, 2018

Betting on Game 5 is setting up to be another "pros vs. joes," as the Golden Knights are receiving 75% of the overall ticket count but the "pros" are driving this line down to -142 at some SBR-approved sportsbooks after Vegas opened -148. If you like the Sharks you can still find a reasonable plus price of +135 at 5 Dimes. Vegas is 13-1 in its last 14 home games against teams with a winning road record, so it’s not a surprise that the public is siding with the Knights.

According to the NHL odds board, the "total" has once again opened at 5.5, with a shade to the "under." I think we are going to see two-way action on this number after the Knights' high-octane offense failed to beat Jones on Wednesday. This throws indecision into the bettors' minds, creating equal action. Take this with a grain of salt but the "over" is 13-1 in the Knights' last 14 Friday games.

Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant can tell you until he’s blue or gold in the face that the Knights gave 100% for 60 minutes in Game 4, but the simple truth is they were missing the desire level that we’re used to seeing from this bunch. It doesn’t mean they won’t bounce back; it just means they played like they were either tired or had a little satisfaction in their gut after winning Game 3 to take the series lead.

There were glimpses of what the Knights can be offensively, especially early when they were getting to the low slot area for quality chances. Reilly Smith could have buried the puck in front off a brilliant feed from Jonathan Marchessault after William Karlsson won a battle along the boards after getting crushed by Tomas Hertl. Those are the kinds of gritty sequences that seemed to disappear as the game grew older.

Say what you like about how he got to the net, but the opening goal by Marcus Sorenson was a microcosm of the slight difference between these teams. Should there have been an interference penalty on the goal? Yes, but the move he made down low to beat Marc-Andre Fleury was not a move you would expect from anyone on the Knights' fourth line.

In the end, San Jose will win this series in seven games because the Knights' offensive depth is not good enough to compete with the Sharks. In Game 5, however, the Knights will bounce back at home and are the smart play with your NHL picks.

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