NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Chicago Blackhawks at Vegas

Knights versus Stars promises to be a tooth and nail battle. Both teams are hungry and want to get to the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights want redemption for their 2018 loss to the Capitals, and Dallas wants to recapture the glory of their last Cup win in 1999.

Knights versus Stars: Dallas breakdown

The Dallas Stars have battled to get here. They dispatched of the 6th seed Flames in six tough games and beat an offensively talented 2nd seed Avalanche squad in seven. Right now, Dallas has faced adversity and won, that’ll make them a tough out for the Golden Knights.

Up front, it isn’t Jamie Benn (13 points in 16 games) or Tyler Seguin (7pts/15gm) leading the way. It is 23 year-old winger, Denis Gurianov with 15 points in 16 games. During the regular season he notched just 29 points in 64 games, albeit 20 goals is solid. Still, this shows that Dallas is spreading the offense around and getting scoring from several places.

Where in the world did Miro Heiskanen come from? The 21 year-old defenseman has 21 points in 16 contests for Dallas and is their Conn Smythe leader. Miro was solid for the Stars this season with 35 points in 68 games, but this wasn’t expected. This is a team that also boasts John Klingberg on defense (12pts/15gm) and makes that back-line a threat in this series.

The Stars biggest concern is in goal with Anton Khudobin. Listen, he’s made the big stops to get them here. However, his 2.94 GAA and .909 SV% make him the weakest goalie of all four teams in the Conference Final.

Knights versus Stars: Vegas breakdown

Vegas is a rock solid team that plays a system to a tee. They are well coached by Pete DeBoer and get scoring up and down the lineup. They came in as the #1 seed and are playing like it. Vegas knocked off the 8th seed Blackhawks in 5. Yes, they were really the 12th seed, and were dispatched as such. Then it took a big effort to beat a very good 5th seed Canucks team in 7.

The Knights are led by Mark Stone up front with his 15 points in 15 games. They get scoring everywhere, but if William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault wake up, this could be a quick series.

On the backline, Shea Theodore is scoring some spectacular goals and leads the Knights in scoring with 16 points. The rest of the defense is just an impenetrable wall which makes the next player about to be discussed the key to the Knights success.

Robin Lehner has been outstanding and making a serious bid to with the Conn Smythe as the MVP of the playoffs. His GAA is 1.99 with a .918 SV%. So if you manage to get past the wall on defense, you have to beat the force field in net.

Knights versus Stars: Predictions

The Stars need the Knights to self-implode by taking a lot of penalties. That is not an outlandish statement since the Knights can be their own worst enemy at times. The Dallas Star have the #1 PP in the post-season, and the Knights have the #1 PK, so this will be a special teams battle.

Should the Knights limit their penalties and play this series mostly 5 on 5, then Robin Lehner will take Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final. Not bad for a franchise that has only been around for three seasons.

Golden Knights over the Stars in 6 games

Anthony Scultore
As CEO of FTHN, LLC, Anthony has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. He is also the Director for Hockey Content at Sportsnaut.com. His work is featured on Bleacher Report, YardBarker, and MSN. Features also linked on NBC, ESPN, TFP, NY POST, NEWSDAY and more.