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3 Keys to Golden Knights Beating Dallas, Game 4; Completing the Sweep



Vegas Golden Knights, Mark Stone, Game 5 win

Things are much easier on paper. What the Vegas Golden Knights must do Thursday is easier written than done. The Golden Knights have largely controlled the play in the first three games of the Western Conference Final. The exception would be the first two periods of Game 2, but the Golden Knights so overwhelmed Dallas in the third period they rallied for an OT win.

Game 3 was a butt-kicking. Pillar to post. And now the Golden Knights can claim the Clarence Campbell Bowl and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

The To-Do’s for Game 4 will be a little different. It is an elimination game. If Dallas doesn’t bring the big-boy toys for Game 4, it will be a total failure of a series.

Based on their morning skate comments, the Golden Knights are not yet looking ahead to what could be — a Stanley Cup Final matchup with the Florida Panthers.

The Golden Knights are 2-0 in games where they can eliminate their opponent in this postseason.

“Go every 10 minutes (segments). They’re going to have a pushback. They’re going to try to storm us. They’re going to come with a lot of energy. We’ve got to manage that.” William Carrier said.

3 Keys to Win Game 4:

1. Weather the Storm

Carrier alluded to it. It’s almost hockey tradition that teams needing a win try to throw a knockout punch and send a message in the first 10 minutes. However, teams that weather the storm are in a much better position.

The Golden Knights didn’t necessarily burn their jets in the first 10 minutes of Game 3, but they scored thrice, which was game, set, and match.

Expect Dallas to attack from the opening puck drop. The Golden Knights will have to play poised, calm, and consistent despite the chaos that will surround them.

“When it’s time for business, everyone hones in on what we need to do,” said Jack Eichel.

They’ll need laser focus, especially in the first period.

2. Unnerve Jake Oettinger

The Dallas goalie was yanked after allowing the third goal. His confidence cannot be great after an up-and-down playoff ride. His save percentage has fallen to .895 in the playoffs, which is not good.

A few bumps, a few scoring chances, and a few hard screens. Make him uncomfortable.

Adin Hill is up to a .940 save percentage partly because the Vegas Golden Knights have kept his legs free and his vision clean. The Golden Knights have scored from feet away from Oettinger, making him uncomfortable and perhaps making him susceptible to a few softies.

Jack Eichel has been around the net, and so too, has the bottom six.

3. Take away the Middle

The Golden Knights have done a tremendous job of taking away the space between the dots. They have properly frustrated Dallas by keeping would-be tips away from the net and limiting high-danger scoring chances with disciplined, tough play.

The series is over if they keep Dallas away from the net in Game 4.

However, expect Dallas to expend energy and desperation to get to the VGK net. The game will be won or lost here, so Dallas, especially Joe Pavelski, will do everything possible to get inside the dots.

Pavelski missed the morning skate with a “maintenance” day but will play in Game 4. Maintenance is hockey code for an injury that can be played through but is painful enough to skip practice or a skate, so don’t expect Pavelski to be 100%.

Yet another Golden Knights advantage.

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