Minnesota Wild defenseman Carson Soucy (21) and defenseman Ian Cole (28), Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) and Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot (33) reach for the puck during the second period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
- The Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild play Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday, May 20th, 2021
- The two teams are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series after Vegas’ 2-1 win in Game 2
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
Vegas are slight -115 favorites on the road in the Golden Knights vs Wild Game 3 odds. This particular best-of-seven series has been a celebration of stingy goaltending.
Vegas, with Marc-Andre Fleury starting both games, was supposed to have the goaltending advantage. Fleury has been sharp, giving up two goals in two games for an 0.98 goals-against average (GAA).
But Minnesota’s Cam Talbot has been equally sharp, stopping 67 of 70 shots for a 1.47 GAA. Talbot has only given up one powerplay goal and two even-strength goals.
The Golden Knights and Wild ranked third and ninth, respectively, in the NHL this season in goal scoring. But both teams are having difficulty against this goaltending.
Golden Knights vs Wild Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-115||-1.5 (+200)||O 5.5 (+107)|
|Minnesota Wild||-103||+1.5 (-205)||U 5.5 (-130)|
Odds as of May 19th
Golden Knights Struggling to Find the Net
Vegas was the NHL’s third-best scoring team in the regular season. But you wouldn’t know that if you only saw them in the first two games of this season.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
The Wild are doing an effective job of smothering the Vegas forward group. The first two games have been tight-checking. The Golden Knights have only scored two 5-on-5 goals in the first two games of this series. Vegas’ top scorer Mark Stone had an impressive end-to-end rush, but he didn’t score. He has only posted two shots on goal and no even-strength points in the first two games in Las Vegas.
With the series now in St. Paul, Minnesota for Games 3 and 4, Vegas coach Peter DeBoer faces the challenge of recharging his offense with the Wild getting the last line change. The Golden Knights have scoring depth, but Max Pacioretty’s absence has been noticeable.
Mark Stone goes coast to coast before Talbot repays the robbery. pic.twitter.com/trGiOJaaEt
— Giles Ferrell (@gilesferrell) May 16, 2021
Pacioretty Still Listed as Day-to-Day
Vegas left wing Max Pacioretty is expected to be a game-time decision for Game 3, just like he was for Game 2 of the Vegas-Minnesota playoff series.
DeBoer said Pacioretty is making progress and still day to day.
— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) May 19, 2021
DeBoer said Wednesday that Pacioretty is getting better every day, although the Golden Knights haven’t revealed his injury.
Pacioretty led Vegas with 24 goals in the regular season and the Golden Knights haven’t looked as dangerous without him.
Wild Need Help From a Rookie
The Minnesota Wild are in the unenviable position of needing an inexperienced player to carry the flag for them offensively in this playoff series.
Kirill Kaprizov was a special performer this season and the likely winner of the NHL’s Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. He was the Wild’s leading scorer with 24 goals. In the first two games of this series, Kaprizov doesn’t have a point.
Kirill Kaprizov sets up Ryan Hartman, but Marc-Andre Fleury makes the save pic.twitter.com/XbpMs1bVVt
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 16, 2021
The Wild have only put two goals behind Fleury. They are checking well enough defensively to win the series, but the Wild desperately need offensive momentum. Dynamic Kaprizov is the player who can provide that push. Even though he’s technically a rookie, he played 47 playoff games in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) before coming to the NHL.
Now at home, the Wild can give Kaprizov favorable matchups. He doesn’t need much room to create havoc.
Golden Knights vs Wild Game 3 Best Bet
This series will remain tight, but over the course of 56 games, the Golden Knights were the NHL’s second-best team this season and were a tiebreaker away from winning the President’s Trophy. They led the NHL with a +67 goal differential. Their 19 regulation road wins tied for first. They feel at home on the road. While Talbot has been sharp, Fleury is a future Hall of Famer.
Pick: Golden Knights ML (-115)
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Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.