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Golden Knights Gameday #33: Welcome Back! Lines, Notes vs Kings

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Vegas Golden Knights Los Angeles Kings AWAY

At long last, the Vegas Golden Knights and the National Hockey League will return to play on Tuesday night. The Golden Knights take on the Los Angeles Kings on the road at 7:30 pm PST. The team will be without Alex Pietrangelo, Evgenii Dadonov, Nick Holden, and head coach Peter DeBoer as they have entered COVID-19 protocols.

Assistant coaches Steve Spott, Ryan McGill, and Ryan Craig will assume the roles of DeBoer with Spott and Craig working the offense and McGill the defense.

The Golden Knights will also welcome back Nicolas Hague to the lineup. Hague missed the Golden Knight’s last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with some bumps and bruises.

“We are used to it and most teams are at this point with COVID and everything it has been a bit wild… Adversity is not always a bad thing it helps make teams stronger,” said Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb.

Additionally, Nolan Patrick could return to the lineup tonight as well as he has been skating full-contact in Golden Knights line rushes on the fourth line.

Mark Stone, Robin Lehner, and Max Pacioretty are all game-time decisions Tuesday night. Stone and Lehner were absent from Tuesday’s practice but Pacioretty was present. Lastly, the Golden Knights have recalled Daniil Miromanov, Logan Thompson, Jake Leschyshyn, and Jonas Rondbjerg from the Henderson Silver Knights and placed them on the Taxi Squad.

The Los Angeles Kings currently sit 5th in the Pacific Division with 33 points and trail the Edmonton Oilers who have 36 points. They are led in scoring by Anze Kopitar who has 27 points in 30 games played. Jonathan Quick is having a strong season as well with a .930% save percentage and a 2.19 Goals-Against-Average.

“It’s nice to get back on the ice I think we all enjoyed our break. LA really took it to us last game so we obviously have something to prove,” said Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith.

The Kings also have Brendan Lemieux playing tonight, so let’s hope he doesn’t show up to the game hungry.

Keys to the game

The Misfit Line is Still Intact

With all of the lineup changes that are expected for the Golden Knights, the team’s lineup looks completely different from what it did before the holiday break. One of the only familiar line combinations for the Golden Knights tonight will be the “Misfit Line” of Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault, and William Karlsson.

If Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone are both unable to play on Tuesday night the misfits will be looked at to generate scoring chances for the Golden Knights. Smith has not scored a goal in ten games but had seven shots on goal last game against the Lightning. Karlsson is pointless in his last three. Today is also Marchessault’s 31st birthday- so maybe some additional motivation from him is coming tonight.

Expect the Golden Knight’s “Misfit Line” to drive to the offense for the team tonight.

Play A Simple Game

The Golden Knights could be without arguably their three-best players Tuesday night with Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo. Add that to not having your head coach in Peter DeBoer available and the gameplan will certainly be different for the Golden Knights.

Without players that can drive the play like Stone, Pacioretty, and Pietrangelo the Golden Knights will have to simplify their game. A strong forecheck and neutral zone game with attention to detail on the 1-3-1 can go a long way. The Golden Knights will look to execute a simple game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Use Rest as a Weapon

Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar had a pretty simple quote Monday after practice stating simply that “Rest is a weapon.” For the Golden Knights, this will be their first game in six days. While they actually have fewer players available than when they started the break, the added pause was beneficial to many.

The Golden Knights are still riding high in the NHL as they are tied for first in the Pacific Division and Western Conference. They had won eight of their last ten games up until the holiday/COVID pause.

The good thing for the Golden Knights though is that they are not the only team that had an extended pause. This affected the entire league and whichever team is able to shed their holiday legs quicker will have the advantage in Tuesday night’s game.

PROJECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINES

Offense

William Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Mattias Janmark

Jonathan Marchessault– William Karlsson- Reilly Smith

Keegan Kolesar- Nicolas Roy- Adam Brooks

Jonas Rondbjerg- Nolan Patrick- Michael Amadio

Defense

Shea Theodore– Zach Whitecloud

Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan

Ben Hutton- Nicolas Hague

Goalie

Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson

Game-Time Decisions*- Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

Special Teams: 19.23% Powerplay (15th) and 76.92% Penalty Kill (23rd)

PP1: Janmark, Stephenson, Theodore, Carrier, Kolesar

PP2: Roy, Karlsson, Smith, Coghlan, Marchessault

PK1: Stephenson, Janmark, McNabb, Whitecloud

PK2: Karlsson, Smith, Theodore, Hague

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Taxi Squad

Jack Eichel, Alec Martinez, Brett Howden, Alex Pietrangelo, Peter DeBoer, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Robin Lehner, Daniil Miromanov, Jake Leschyshyn.

PROJECTED LOS ANGELES KINGS LINES PER PUCKPEDIA

Offense

Alex Iafallo- Anze Kopitar- Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore- Alex Turcotte- Viktor Arvidsson

Brendan Lemieux- Blake Lizotte- Arthur Kaliyev

Lias Andersson- Jaret Anderson-Dolan- Carl Grundstrom

Defense

Mikey Anderson- Drew Doughty

Christian Wolanin- Matt Roy

Tobias Bjornfot- Sean Durzi

Goalie

Jonathan Quick/Garret Sparks

Los Angeles Kings Special Teams

17.35% Powerplay (23rd) and 77.38% % Penalty Kill (22nd)

PP1: Kempe, Kopitar, Arvidsson, Doughty, Iafallo

PP2: Andersson, Turcotte, Grundstrom, Durzi, Kaliyev

PK1: Kopitar, Iafallo, Anderson, Doughty

PK2: Lizotte, Kempe, Bjornfot, Roy

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Taxi Squad

Sean Walker, Alex Edler, Andreas Athanasiou, Dustin Brown, Quinton Byfield, Phillip Danault, Olli Maatta, Cal Petersen.

How to Watch/Listen: 7:30 pm on ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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