On Sunday evening at T-Mobile Arena, the Vegas Golden Knights look to get right against the Ottawa Senators.
Betting line: STN Sports has the Golden Knights as a minus-185 favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The public supports the Golden Knights at a 78%-22% split per covers.com. The betting line is interesting as the Golden Knights were minus-240 favorites against a slightly better team in the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. Is this betting line based on Jiri Patera potentially starting or are the sportsbooks limiting their risk in the event late money floods on the Senators?
Key storyline: The Golden Knights need to play their game. Multiple players and coach Bruce Cassidy felt the Golden Knights abandoned their game on Friday night against the Sabres. Puck management and clean breakout passes will be two areas of focus for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights do not need their best game to beat the Senators, they need a smart game.
About the Golden Knights (20-6-5, 45 points): The Golden Knights look to secure six of a possible eight points on the four-game homestand before they head east next week. It has not been a pretty homestand as the Golden Knights have given up third-period leads in three straight games. We have heard players and coach Cassidy mention the team has been finding ways to win all season when the Golden Knights have not been at their best. The homestand has been just the opposite, the team found a way to lose Friday against the Sabres and nearly found ways to lose against the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames.
Alec Martinez and Adin Hill are likely to return soon. The Golden Knights are not holding a pre-game skate so the lineup may remain a mystery until warmups. If Hill is unavailable, coach Cassidy may opt to go with Patera against the Senators.
Golden Knights to watch: Ivan Barbashev is hot with eight points in his last eight games but had a costly turnover that put Friday’s game against the Sabres out of reach. Look for Barbashev to try and make up for it Sunday night. Brett Howden has not seen the scoresheet much as of late. Howden has just seven points in 29 games and two points in his last 10 games. Mark Stone has settled in nicely on the top line with Jack Eichel and Barbashev. The captain has five points in his last five games.
About the Senators (11-14-0, 22 points): The Senators are in last place in the Atlantic Division and on a three-game losing streak. This is the middle stop of a five-game road trip that has featured losses against the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. Tim Stutzle leads the Senators with 28 points. Keep an eye on Brady Tkachuk. Tkachuk has 69 penalty minutes and is not afraid to mix it up with anyone, including his former teammate, Mark Stone. The “yes” pays plus-200 on STN Sports if you think there will be a fight in tonight’s game.
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST.
TV: Vegas 34 (Scripps Sports)
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340