- The Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche play at Lake Tahoe on Saturday
- Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start in place of the injured Robin Lehner
- Here are the odds, injury updates, and team breakdowns to help settle on the best bet
There have been many outdoor hockey games but none quite like the NHL has planned for Saturday afternoon.
The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights will face off at Lake Tahoe for the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors game in what’s expected to be a stunning showcase. Puck drop is set for 3 PM EST on Saturday, February 20th, 2021 with the game being broadcasted on NBC.
Vegas are surprising underdogs in the Golden Knights vs Avalanche odds, even though they overtook Colorado in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds earlier this week.
Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche Odds
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1.5 (-265)||+100||O 5.5 (-113)|
|Colorado Avalanche||-1.5 (+215)||-115||U 5.5 (-108)|
Odds taken Feb. 19th at DraftKings
While the surrounding views will be picturesque there’s also an important hockey game to be played between two of the top teams in the league. Let’s break things down by position to settle on the best value bet.
Fleury to Start in Place of Injured Lehner
Robin Lehner is expected to miss a sixth straight game with an upper body injury leaving the Golden Knights goaltending duties to Marc-Andre Fleury. The good news is he has been exceptional this season, posting a 7-2-0 record with a 1.56 GAA and .937 SV%. Not to mention, Vegas ranks second in goals against per game which is a testament to both their strong play in net and a deep defensive core. The only team ahead of them in those rankings? The Avalanche.
The views from Lake Tahoe #NHLOutdoors are looking nooicee
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) February 18, 2021
Colorado is expected to start Philipp Grubauer who funny enough, has almost identical stats to Fleury. He has an 8-3-0 record with a 1.64 GAA, a .936 SV%, and is a contender in the Vezina Trophy odds. However, Fleury has a narrow edge because he’s proven more than capable of putting up great performances on big stages in his career.
Cale Makar Back in NHL Outdoors Game?
This stage is perfect for smooth skating defenseman Cale Makar, but there’s one problem, he may not play. The reigning Calder Trophy winner missed the last game with an upper-body injury. That being said, head coach Jared Bednar couldn’t confirm Makar’s status for the outdoor game but the youngster did practice Thursday. His participation in this game would be a big boost for the Avalanche, and it’s something to monitor prior to puck drop.
Every kid's dream. 🙏
(📷 IG/edcoylephotography) pic.twitter.com/dWSS4szjTc
One other defenseman to keep an eye on is prized free-agent acquisition, Alex Pietrangelo. His start with the Golden Knights has been underwhelming, to say the least. He’s tallied only four points in a dozen games. The outdoor game is a perfect spot for a coming out party. Should Pietrangelo continue his average play, Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez have proven capable of picking up the slack. Give Vegas an edge on defense and a big one if Makar sits out.
MacKinnon Leads Stacked Avalanche Offense
Nathan MacKinnon has 15 points in 12 games and seems to be doing what he does every year as one of the top point producers in the game. The two teams split games earlier this week, but MacKinnon did score in Colorado’s win on Tuesday. He’s surrounded by talent at even-strength and on special teams with Mikko Rantanen, Brandon Saad, Nazem Kadri, and captain Gabriel Landeskog.
Hockey in the great outdoors. 🏔
Vegas ranks 13th scoring just over three goals per game. Mark Stone is the key with 16 points in 14 games, and Max Pacioretty is off to a solid start to the season, as well with eight goals and five assists. The Golden Knights are certainly capable, but the Avalanche have the better offense.
Trust Vegas to Get the Win at Lake Tahoe
There isn’t much separating these two teams. Moreover, put your trust in Fleury as the more experienced goalie and enjoy that you can bet the Vegas as an underdog, which is increasingly rare.
The Pick: Vegas Golden Knights Moneyline (+100)
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