After a three-day break, the Vegas Golden Knights (12-9) are back in action and will take on the Anaheim Ducks (12-8-3) Wednesday night on the road. Forward Michael Amadio is expected to return to the Golden Knights lineup after returning from COVID-19 protocols. Ryan Getzlaf will miss Wednesday night’s game as he went down against the LA Kings with a lower-body injury last night.
The Ducks currently occupy the third spot in the NHL’s Pacific Division with 27 points and have been a surprise team for many this season. They are led by Troy Terry who has burst onto the scene of the NHL coming out of nowhere scoring 24 points in 22 games. This is the second of four meetings between the Ducks and Golden Knights. The VGK won the last matchup 5-4 in the shootout.
Robin Lehner is once again expected to start for the Vegas Golden Knights. He has looked a little shaky in his last few starts but is not getting much help from his defenseman. The Golden Knights defenseman have been pinching frequently on the attack leaving Lehner out to dry.
This was very evident in the Golden Knight’s last game against the Edmonton Oilers where Mikko Koskinen played incredible. The team got frustrated and pinched even more and as a result, gave up four breakaways that game.
A solid defensive structure and having defensemen pinch at the right time should go a long way in improving the Golden Knight’s outlook as well as Lehner’s goaltending.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the battle for a roster spot between the remaining forwards on the team. With Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty back in the lineup, we have seen players like Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg be kicked out of the lineup.
Jack Eichel and William Karlsson are still a ways out. But the fight is now between Keegan Kolesar, Brett Howden, and waiver claims Adam Brooks and Michael Amadio for a spot.
The Golden Knights will also need to stay out of the penalty box as this matchup continues the trend of the team playing top-powerplay teams. The Duck’s powerplay is ranked third and the Golden Knights cannot continue to give up chances as they did against other top-powerplays with the Oilers and Nashville Predators.
PROJECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINES
Max Pacioretty- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault- Nicolas Roy- Reilly Smith
Mattias Janmark- Keegan Kolesar- Evgenii Dadonov
William Carrier- Brett Howden- Michael Amadio
Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Ben Hutton- Zach Whitecloud
Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams:
Special Teams: 10.6% powerplay (31st) and 81.67% penalty kill (15th).
PP1: Stone, Stephenson, Dadonov, Theodore, Pacioretty
PP2: Roy, Brooks, Smith, Marchessault, Pietrangelo
PK1: Stephenson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Howden, Janmark, Hague, Hutton
IR: Jack Eichel, Nolan Patrick, William Karlsson, Alec Martinez.
PROJECTED ANAHEIM DUCKS LINES PER PUCKPEDIA
Adam Henrique- Sam Steel- Troy Terry
Sonny Milano- Trevor Zegras- Rickard Rakell
Isac Lundestrom- Derek Grant- Jakob Silfverberg
Nicolas Deslauriers- Sam Carrick- Vinni Lettieri
Hampus Lindholm- Jamie Drysdale
Cam Fowler- Josh Manson
Josh Mahurna- Kevin Shattenkirk
Anthony Stolarz/John Gibson
Anaheim Ducks Special Teams:
Special Teams: 28.4% powerplay (3rd) and 87.10 penalty kill (4th).
PP1: Rakell, Carrick, Milano, Drysdale, Zegras
PP2: Silfverberg, Henrique, Terry, Fowler, Shattenkirk
PK1: Carrick, Deslaurier, Fowler, Manson
PK2: Lundestrom, Grant, Lindholm, Shattenkirk
IR: Ryan Getzlaf, Max Jones
How to Watch/Listen: 7:00 pm on ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM