The Western Conference Final matchup is set after the Dallas Stars defeated the Seattle Kraken 2-1 in Game 7 of the second round on Monday night. The Stars are now set to face the No. 1 seed from the Pacific in the Vegas Golden Knights, who defeated the Edmonton Oilers in six games in their second-round series. Here we’ll go over the odds to win the Western Conference Final.
2023 NHL Playoffs: Golden Knights vs. Stars odds
The Golden Knights are slight favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the Western Conference Final over Dallas. The matchup is relatively even. On paper, the Stars have the edge throughout, you’d think. Goalie Jake Oettinger hasn’t been great this postseason but he’s the most elite goaltender left standing at this point. Oettinger made 21 saves in the Game 7 win. It’s more of a testament to Dallas’ play in Game 7 and in some of the wins over Seattle, dominating the forecheck to prevent offensive chances.
Vegas has had nothing but injury issues in net but backups have stepped up. First it was Laurent Brossoit, who played well in the first round against the Jets in place of the injured Logan Thompson and over veteran Jonathan Quick. Brossoit was injured during the second round vs. the Oilers. Adin Hill replaced him, starting the final three games vs. Edmonton, posting a 2.19 GAA and .934 SV% in four-plus appearances.
At forward, these are two veteran groups with plenty of experience and drive. The Golden Knights have made the West Final in three of the past six seasons. The Stars made the West Final and the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 during the pandemic season. Dallas took down Vegas in five games during that playoff run, all four wins being decided by one goal (two in OT). Expect a long, tight series this time around.
This series could come down to special teams. Dallas’ penalty kill has been great this postseason, though not tested much by Minnesota or Seattle. The Golden Knights have the worst power play left in the playoffs at 17.5% conversion in 11 games. Vegas was able to exploit the Oilers’ struggling defense, something that may not be the case against the Stars. Dallas’ power play has looked great at times and converted at over a 30% clip through the first two rounds. The Golden Knights will need to do a better job killing penalties to get out of the West.