The NHL’s Western Conference Finals begins on Friday from Las Vegas with the Golden Knights as -125 favorites on the NHL odds against the Dallas Stars. It’s a rematch of the 2020 West Finals in the COVID Edmonton bubble won by Dallas in an upset.
Stars vs. Golden Knights, Game 1 | 2023 NHL Expert Analysis
How to Bet Dallas at Vegas NHL Odds & TV Info
When: Friday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena
NHL Odds: Knights -125, Stars +115 (total 5.5)
Dallas swept the regular season series 3-0. They last played April 8 in Dallas and the Stars prevailed 2-1 in a shootout as Jake Oettinger stopped all three shootout shots he faced. Roope Hintz made the only goal in the tiebreaker. Each team had only one shot on goal in overtime, though Vegas forward Reilly Smith hit the left post with about two minutes left. Knights forward Phil Kessel used his hand to knock a flying puck in the net past Oettinger late in the first period. That goal was immediately waved off by an official.
Why Bet on Dallas?
The Stars advanced by beating Seattle 2-1 on Monday. Twenty-year-old Wyatt Johnston became the youngest player in NHL history to score a series-clinching goal in a Game 7. After Roope Hintz scored his League-leading third game-opening goal of these playoffs, Johnston netted the game winner – and his second series-clinching tally this postseason – while Jake Oettinger made 22 saves to send Dallas to its second Western Conference Final in four years.
Johnston, who also put the Stars through to the Second Round with the winning tally against the Wild in Game 6 of the first round, became the fifth rookie in NHL history to score multiple series-clinching goals and the fourth to do so in a single playoff year. Oettinger improved to 14-0-0 after a regulation loss in 2022-23 while posting a 1.83 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in those contests (regular season & playoffs combined).
Oettinger leads all goaltenders this postseason with eight wins, and he has added a 2.75 GAA and a .903 save percentage through 13 contests.
The Stars are the fourth franchise Peter DeBoer has led to a conference finals/semifinals appearance (also Vegas, San Jose and New Jersey), a feat accomplished by only one other head coach in NHL history: Scotty Bowman with five. DeBoer served as head coach of the Golden Knights when the team made the Stanley Cup semifinals in 2021 and conference Finals in 2020. Only four other head coaches in NHL history have taken a team to the round before the Final then later opposed that team in the same round.
Dallas star Joe Pavelski’s 176 career playoff games are the fifth most in NHL history before a Stanley Cup win/without winning a championship.
Bet Stars to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on Vegas?
The Western Conference Finals represents the fourth instance in the past 25 years of head coaches, both in their first season with a team, meeting in the penultimate round of the playoffs. The last occurrence was also between Dallas and Vegas in 2020. The first-year Dallas coach now is Peter DeBoer and for Vegas it’s Bruce Cassidy.
Vegas advanced with a 5-2 win at Edmonton last Sunday in Game 6 to clinch their fourth appearance in the NHL’s final four of the Stanley Cup playoffs since their inaugural season in 2017-18, tied with the Lightning for the most in the NHL through that span. The Knights became the third franchise in NHL history to advance to the round before the Stanley Cup Finals at least four times within their first six seasons, following the Rangers and Blues who also did so four times.
Jonathan Marchessault scored the first natural hat trick by a Golden Knights player in the Stanley Cup playoffs and became just the ninth skater in NHL history with a three-goal period in a potential series-clinching game. Marchessault, one of three players to skate in each of the 77 all-time postseason games for the Golden Knights, tied the contest in the second period and then scored two more before the second intermission to complete the natural hat trick.
Adin Hill stopped 38 of 40 shots in Sunday’s win. Hill has shone in net for Vegas since taking over for the injured Laurent Brossoit (lower body). He has a .927 save percentage through four games, two of which he started. Brossoit still isn’t skating but former No. 1 Logan Thompson (lower body) may be available to return at some point during the series. He hasn’t played since March 23. Jonathan Quick is expected to continue serving as Hill’s backup. Hill played an NHL career-high 27 games this season and was 16-7-1 with a 2.50 GAA and .915 save percentage before a lower-body injury March 7 kept him out until early in the playoffs.
The previous playoff matchup between the two clubs was in the 2020 conference finals, a series won in five games by Dallas, which saw the first instance in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) of a conference finals or semifinals series opening with each team earning a shutout within the first two contests. Twenty-one players and five coaches that were involved in that series are going to be a part of this Western Conference Finals.
The Golden Knights have 31 goals at 5-on-5 in these playoffs, second behind the Kraken (33). Vegas has allowed the first goal in eight of 11 games, going 5-3 in those games.
Bet Golden Knights to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
- Stars are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Stars are 13-6 in their last 19 road games.
- Golden Knights are 16-5 in their last 21 home games.
- Golden Knights are 24-9 in their last 33 overall.
- Underdog is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
- Under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings in Vegas.
Vegas 4, Dallas 2
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