The Vancouver Canucks continue to ride a hot goalkeeper as they advance to a second round series-deciding Game 7 matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. The game will take place Friday, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m. ET in Edmonton. for a spot in the Western Conference Finals in Edmonton.
Rookie goalie Thatcher Demko earned his first playoff start in Game 5 replacing an inured Jacob Markstrom on Tuesday with a stellar performance. He finished with 42 saves for a 2-1 win over the Golden Knights to keep Vancouver from being eliminated from the playoffs.
Demko followed it up with 48 saves Thursday night in Game 6 to guide the Canucks to a 4-0 victory. Vancouver’s goals were scored by Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Jake Virtanen and Quinn Hughes.
Markstrom is a question mark going into Friday night’s game with a groin injury, but it’s certainly possible Demko stays on the ice regardless with his performance in the past two matchups.
The winner of Friday night’s game will move on to face the Dallas Stars, who won Game 7 of their series against the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-4 victory in overtime.
Vegas and Vancouver will play the second of three Game 7 matchups over the span of two days with the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers set to finish up their series on Saturday night.
Game 7 Betting Primer
The Canucks entered each of the past two games as fairly significant underdogs to win outright, being listed as +195 on the moneyline in Game 5 and +200 in Game 6 on Thursday night. Can Vancouver pull off another upset?
All Canucks odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
- Vancouver Canucks +1.5 (-137)
- Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+116)
Whether oddsmakers believe the Canucks can do enough to win is one thing, but they sure think there’s a good chance Vancouver keeps the score within a one-goal margin if it does lose tonight. The puck line numbers are very similar to what we saw heading into Game 6.
- Over 6 (+100)
- Under 6 (-122)
Despite two days of evidence of Demko’s outstanding play, the over/under remains at six goals. Throughout this series, the total number of goals reached six twice in six games. In the last three games, the total has not reached higher than four goals scored.
- Vancouver Canucks +180
- Vegas Golden Knights -215
Oddsmakers adjusted their moneyline numbers for Game 7, but the Canucks are still significant underdogs heading into the matchup. To calculate this, it means bettors would need to bet $215 on Vegas to win $100 back, and a $100 bet on Vancouver would net a $180 profit. Betting Vancouver certainly worked in each of the past two games in this series.
Western Conference Finals odds
- Vegas Golden Knights +105
- Dallas Stars +135
- Vancouver Canucks +500
With only three teams left in the Western Conference, the Golden Knights remain the favorite, but Vancouver’s odds changed significantly. Prior to Thursday night’s game, the Canucks were listed at +2000 to make the Western Conference Finals, and it went all the way down to +5000 overnight.
Stanley Cup Finals odds
- Tampa Bay Lightning +160
- Vegas Golden Knights +265
- Dallas Stars +450
- Philadelphia Flyers +850
- New York Islanders +875
- Vancouver Canucks +1500
The Tampa Bay Lightning remain the favorite to win the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Finals with Vegas right behind them. Tampa Bay finished off the Boston Bruins in five games, while every other series reached seven games. Just like in the Western Conference Finals odds, Vancouver’s odds to win increase by an incredible margin. Heading into Thursday night, the Canucks had +5000 odds to win it all, and it’s down to just +1500.
Win or lose on Friday night, it’s been quite a run to make it to Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs for the Canucks. Their play has certainly surprised some people including those setting the NHL odds.