Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight. Should we shift our thinking after seeing seven goals in Game 1 of the series? What is the best way to approach tonight's game?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Header links are to numberFire's betting model for each game. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Under 5.5 (+104)
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals got off to a hot start with seven total goals, but that isn't necessarily an indication of what we should see moving forward.
Despite posting five goals in Game 1, the Golden Knights did not hold the shot attempt advantage in the game. The Panthers ended Game 1 with a 51.55% Corsi For Percentage (Total Shot Attempts Created), but managed to score just a pair of goals.
When looking at five-on-five situations for Game 1, the Golden Knights generated 2.28 Expected Goals, while the Panthers sat at 2.38 Expected Goals. Game 1 also featured a short-handed goal, a goal on the power-play, and an empty net goal.
What does this all add up to? Game 1 had a lot of scoring that wasn't necessarily justified. Sure, a power-play goal is bound to happen, but both a short-handed goal and an empty netter? Fluky and situational is the best way to put it.
I say all of this and haven't even mentioned that both goalies, Sergei Bobrovsky and Adin Hill are still performing at a high level. According to MoneyPuck, both goalies finished with positive Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in Game 1.
If we account for some of that randomness, we we're actually in for a much lower-scoring game than we actually saw. That is where we should see things slip tonight, making under 5.5 goals the spot to look.