The Vegas Golden Knights kick off the most difficult stretch of the young season when they face the Colorado Avalanche in the first of four straight games today.
Vegas Golden Knights (9-2-1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (7-3-1)
The Vegas Golden Knights scored multiple power play goals in a game for the first time this season and gave head coach Pete DeBoer a win in his return to San Jose against the Sharks. Marc-Andre Fleury earned the win with 24 saves to improve to 6-1-0 on the season with a 1.58 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
The Colorado Avalanche have posted a 4-0-1 mark in its last five games after a halting start to the season. That said, the Avalanche has not played a game since February 2 due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols, so the question of rust hangs over this Avalanche team.
Keep An Eye On
Vegas Golden Knights
Chandler Stephenson has really come on as of late. In his last four games, Stephenson has four goals and six points. It seems that both Stephenson and Cody Glass have really gotten their games in gear, giving Vegas much more solid footing at the center position. Stephenson has been overshadowed by linemates Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, but has been just as important to the team’s success. Watch for his speed on the forecheck to generate opportunities for his linemates to attack against the Avalanche defense today.
Philipp Grubauer has shouldered the bulk of the goaltending duties this year for the Avalanche after the injury to Pavel Francouz that has kept him out since the second game of the season. Grubauer has performed, going 7-2-0 with a 1.67 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. Grubauer has only allowed 3+ goals in a game twice this season and has already posted two shutouts. Getting to him early and often will be key for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas Golden Knights
- Vegas is 8-0-0 when Jonathan Marchessault records a point this season.
- Chandler Stephenson has four goals in his last four games.
- Tomas Nosek remains the only Golden Knights player on the COVID-19 protocol list.
- Vegas’ three power play goals against San Jose was just the sixth time in franchise history the team has scored three-or-more in a game.
- Cale Makar is second among NHL defensemen in points-per-game (1.09) to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman.
- Makar is also on a five-game point streak (1-6-7) tying a career high.
- Colorado has scored first in nine of its 11 games, tops in the NHL. They’re 6-2-1 when doing so.
- Joonas Donskoi is on a five-game point streak (3-2-5).
- Brandon Saad will play in his 600th NHL game tonight.
- Valeri Nichushkin will play in his 300th NHL game tonight.