It's time to defend their title as the Vegas Golden Knights start the playoffs with the Dallas Stars, with the teams meeting at the American Airlines Center for Game 1 of the first round. We're here to share our NHL odds series, make a Golden Knights-Stars Game 1 prediction, and pick while showing you how to watch.

The Golden Knights started the season strong, going 6-0, breaking the longest winning streak to start a season following a Stanley Cup win. Then, the injuries started, and things began to spiral out of control quickly. The Knights had a chance to claim third place in the Pacific Division and a guaranteed showdown with the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, they fell to the Anaheim Ducks in the regular-season finale and will now face the Stars.

The Stars hung around the top of the standings for the entire season. Then, something just clicked. They went 11-2 in March, including seven straight wins to end the month. Finally, they went 5-2 in April to close out the season and snag the top seed.

But it might not be such a bad thing. Amazingly, the Knights swept the season series. They even won twice in Dallas, including a 6-1 drubbing on December 9.

This will be the third time these teams square off in the playoffs since 2020. At first, the Stars defeated the Golden Knights 4-1 in the 2020 Western Conference Finals. The Knights got the win last season, beating the Stars 4-2 in the West Finals before completing their first Stanley Cup win. Now, the teams will square off in the first round, and the Stars have a perfect chance to avenge that loss.

Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NHL Playoffs Odds: Golden Knights-Stars Game 1 Odds

Vegas Golden Knights: +1.5 (-220)

Moneyline: +118

Dallas Stars: -1.5 (+180)

Moneyline: -142

Over: 5.5 (-120)

Under: 5.5 (-102)

How to Watch Golden Knights vs. Stars Game 1

Time: 9:35 PM ET/6:35 PM PT


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Golden Knights Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Golden Knights will see some players return, and that might give them the edge they were missing. Therefore, they may get some juice from these returning players while the players who have carried them continue on.

Jonathan Marchessault leads the way with 42 goals and 27 assists, including eight powerplay tallies. Thus, he will be the first guy the Knights turn to when they need a score. Jack Eichel dealt with injuries this season. Regardless, he still managed to finish with 31 goals and 37 assists, including 11 powerplay markers. But Eichel struggled in the faceoff circle. Unfortunately, he only won 413 draws and lost 495.

William Karlsson had a productive season while also battling injuries. Significantly, he finished with 30 goals and 30 assists, including seven powerplay conversions. But the big story here will be the return of Mark Stone. Ultimately, he has been cleared for full practice after being out with an abdomen injury since February 20. Stone had 16 goals and 37 assists, including four powerplay markers and two shorthanded goals in 56 games. Meanwhile, Curtis Stephenson also returns from an injury, and he had 16 goals and 35 assists, including four powerplay tallies. Alex Pietrangelo also returns from a number of ailments. Overall, he had four goals and 29 assists. He also finished with 160 blocked shots.

Adin Hill and Logan Thompson have pretty much shared the net this season, with Hill getting a slight advantage. Significantly, Hill went 19-12-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a save percentage of .909, while Thompson went 25-14-5 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a save percentage of .908.

The Golden Knights will cover the spread if they can capitalize off their chances on the extra-man attack. Next, they need a good goaltending performance from whoever is in the net.

Why The Stars Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Stars are under a lot of pressure as the home team in this game against the defending champions. Now, they must figure out a way to conquer the Knights.

Jason Robertson has been their best player, with 29 goals and 51 assists, including nine powerplay markers. Therefore, he will be the most dangerous player on the ice for the Stars. Joe Pavelski will try to keep the motor running. Significantly, he finished the season with 27 goals and 40 assists, including 11 powerplay markers. Pavelski was average in the faceoff circle, winning 355 draws and losing 340.

Matt Duchene will be a player to watch. Overall, he had 25 goals and 40 assists, including six powerplay tallies. Duchene also was a master in the faceoff circle, winning 360 draws and losing 277. Thus, the Stars hope they can see a lot of production from him. Roope Hintz was solid, with 30 goals and 35 assists, including eight powerplay tallies and three shorthanded goals. Meanwhile, Wyatt Johnston emerged this season with 32 goals and 32 assists, including three powerplay markers and three shorthanded goals.

But the main man everyone will be watching is Jake Oettinger. Is he ready to take the next step? Significantly, he went 35-14-4 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a save percentage of .905.

The Stars will cover the spread if they can get the jump on the Knights and put all the pressure on them. Then, they need Oettinger to perform well.

Final Golden Knights-Stars Game 1 Prediction & Pick

Can the Stars finally beat the Golden Knights? Counting last season's Western Conference Finals, the Knights have won four games in a row, including a 6-0 drubbing in front of the Dallas fans in Game 6. The Golden Knights are more than capable of turning a switch on and going on a heater. Therefore, the Stars must figure out a way to prevent that from happening. Look at it this way: the Stars have a lot more to prove than the Golden Knights and more doubters, even with their hot streak. But because they are so hot, it may carry over. The Stars need a statement win. However, they barely snuck past the Knights in all their wins in last year's finals at home. This feels like an overtime win.

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Final Golden Knights-Stars Game 1 Prediction & Pick: Vegas Golden Knights: +1.5 (-220)