The Western Conference Finals for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been set as the Vegas Golden Knights will battle the Dallas Stars with Game 1 set for Friday. Vegas got to this point by taking out a pair of Canadian teams in the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers and are now back in familiar territory of the conference finals.
The last time the Golden Knights played in the Conference Finals was in 2021, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in six games. This was technically just the Stanley Cup Semi-finals since the NHL had shifted to a division format for these playoffs due to cross-border travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two teams split the first four games of the series before Montreal jumped all over Vegas for a 4-1 victory in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Tied 2-2 in overtime of Game 6, it was an Artturi Lehkonen series-clinching goal that propelled the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final and ended the Golden Knights’ season.
As alluded to earlier, Vegas has had good playoff fortune as this is already its fourth trip to the conference finals in just six years of existence. The Golden Knights open as a -140 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the series and advance to the championship round.