For the first time this season the Vegas Golden Knights (22-12) will take on the Winnipeg Jets (14-11-5) Sunday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights are coming off a dominant win over the Division Rival Anaheim Ducks.
The Golden Knights will likely be without Mark Stone and Robin Lehner once more today as they are still day-to-day with nagging injuries. Max Pacioretty is also out for the Golden Knights after he underwent successful wrist surgery on Thursday. Jack Eichel and Alec Martinez are also out for the Golden Knights.
It is possible that we see the return of both Nicolas Hague (day-to-day injury) and Brett Howden (COVID-19 protocols) tonight as well. Laurent Brossoit is expected to start against his former team.
Speaking of playing against a former team, both Paul Stastny and Nate Schmidt will return to Las Vegas today for the first time. Both player’s returns have been delayed due to the changes in the NHL’s schedule last year due to COVID-19.
Stastny spent two seasons with the Golden Knights and fit in well as a top-six centerman for the team. He put up 30 goals, 50 assists, and 80 points in two season with the Golden Knights. Stastny is often overlooked as a veteran NHL centerman but has over 1,000 game of experience under his belt and 770 points.
An original Golden Knight, Nate Schmidt was one of the team’s best defenseman for the team’s first couple of seasons. He spent three years on the team after he was claimed in the NHL Expansion Draft from the Washington Capitals. He scored 97 points in 196 games with the Golden Knights.
Keys to the Game
LB Against His Former Team
Paul Stastny and Nate Schmidt aren’t the only players in today’s game that will be playing against a former team as Laurent Brossoit can be added to that list. Brossoit spent three years with the Winnipeg Jets and emerged as a solid backup goaltender behind Connor Hellebuyck.
Now a few years later, Brossoit will likely face off against his former teammate in Hellebuyck for some good old fashioned NHL Revenge. Expect a big “prove yourself” performance from Brossoit tonight and for him to continue his strong play from the game against Anaheim.
Continue Early Game Success
Another 1:00 pm early game is on the schedule for the Golden Knights today. For the players, this is a good thing as the consensus in the locker room is that they love these type of games. As a Western Conference team, the Golden Knights game times on their schedule vary a lot. But most players tend to like the early games.
William Karlsson for example states that he loves the early games as it allows him to simply wake up and then play some hockey. He also admires the fact that you have a much larger time period before you have to go to bed again. Expect the Golden Knights to have another strong early game today in Vegas.
Feed off of the Fortress
A given in every home game for the Golden Knights, but still the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena is unmatched. Due to the Golden Knights two games against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers being postponed, the team is now on an eight-game homestand.
This gives the Golden Knights a perfect opportunity to go on a run at home and pursue a winning streak. They already lead both the NHL’s Pacific Division and Western Conference Standings. If they can continue their already amazing performance at home, then they could pick up a plethora of points.
PROJECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINE COMBINATIONS
Mattias Janmark- Chandler Stephenson- Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Reilly Smith
William Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Adam Brooks- Nolan Patrick- Michael Amadio
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore– Zach Whitecloud
Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan
Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
Special Teams: 19.32% Powerplay (14th) and 77.08% Penalty Kill (24th)
PP1: Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault, Roy, Theodore
PP2: Janmark, Stephenson, Dadonov, Coghlan, Pietrangelo
PK1: Stephenson, Janmark, McNabb, Whitecloud
PK2: Karlsson, Smith, Theodore, Hague
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols
Jack Eichel, Jake Bischoff, Alec Martinez, Brett Howden, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Robin Lehner, Nicolas Hague.
Daniil Miromanov, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg.
PROJECTED WINNIPEG JETS LINE COMBINATIONS
Paul Stastny- Mark Scheifele- Nikolaj Ehlers
Kyle Connor- Pierre-Luc Dubois- Jansen Harkins
Cole Perfetti- Adam Lowry- Kristian Reichel
Dominic Toninato- David Gustafsson- Kristian Vesalainen
Josh Morrissey- Nate Schmidt
Brenden Dillon- Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley- Dylan DeMelo
Connor Hellebuyck/Eric Comrie
Winnipeg Jets Special Teams
20.43% Powerplay (13th) and 70.59% % Penalty Kill (31st)
PP1: Dubois, Scheifele, Perfetti, Connor, Pionk
PP2: Lowry, Stastny, Ehlers, Morrissey, Schmidt
PK1: Lowry, Stastny, Stanley, DeMelo
PK2: Gustafsson, Toninato, Dillon, Pionk
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols
Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Evgeny Svechnikov, Andrew Copp
How to Watch/Listen: 1:00 pm on ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.