The Vegas Golden Knights (22-12-1) are set to continue their now-massive eight-game homestand Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators (20-11-2). The Golden Knights are tenth in the league in terms of a home-ice record with an 11-7-1 home record. With two upcoming games against the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames postponed, the Golden Knights will be at home for a good chunk of January.
“I don’t like being on the road at all, to be honest with you. I have got four kids and I like to be around my kiddos… But I think it is good for us because we play well at home and I think it is a good chance for us to kind of stay together as a group here and get healthy and get our game where we want it to be,” said Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
The Golden Knights have slowly been getting healthier as Mark Stone, Robin Lehner, and Alec Martinez were all present at the team’s Tuesday morning skate. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer does not expect Stone or Lehner to be available against the Predators. Martinez wore a red no-contact jersey and has been out since November with a facial laceration.
On the Nashville end the Golden Knights will, unfortunately, be unable to welcome back Cody Glass to T-Mobile Tuesday. Glass is playing with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Glass was traded one-for-one for Nolan Patrick after the Predators acquired him in the Ryan Ellis deal this past offseason. Former teammate Keegan Kolesar says he and Glass still chat from time to time.
“I have played against him enough in my career in juniors. I’m sure he’s sick of seeing me. But Cody and I we text a lot, FaceTime a lot, and keep in touch to both see how we are doing. He’s a good firing of mine before we met in Vegas. We went to school together through elementary and high school so I would love to see him get a chance up with Nashville,” said Kolesar.
One player returning to T-Mobile Arena though is Nick Cousins, who played seven games with the Golden Knights in 2019-2020.
The Golden Knights could be rolling with a new goaltender Tuesday night as well. Logan Thompson was the first goalie off the ice for the Golden Knights during their morning skate at City National Arena. With Lehner not expected to dress tonight and Laurent Brossoit starting the past four games, Thompson could be in for his first career NHL start.
Thompson won AHL Goalie of the Year last season with the Henderson Silver Knights as he posted a 1.96 goals-against average and a .943% save percentage. If he plays tonight it will be his first career NHL start, but not his first game in the NHL. Thompson came in for Marc-Andre Fleury on March 10th, 2021, against the Minnesota Wild and made two saves. Dylan Coghlan had a hat-trick that game.
Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer did not confirm who his starter tonight would be during media availability Tuesday morning.
Keys to the Game
Play Stong in Front of Whoever is in Net
No matter who ends up being the starter for the Golden Knights Tuesday night, the team needs to play better defensively. The Golden Knights put up a strong offensive game Sunday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets where they scored four goals and had 40+ shots.
But the defensive game cost the Golden Knights in the end as they failed to get the extra point. If tonight’s starter ends up being Thompson the Golden Knights will need to do a better job defensively to ensure that the 24-year old gets his first-career NHL win.
Utilize Carrier on the first line
With Max Pacioretty now placed on injured reserve and Mark Stone still out for the team, Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer has adjusted his line combinations. William Carrier is expected to play on the first line with Chandler Stephenson and Evgenii Dadonov Tuesday night.
Carrier has shown tremendous amounts of offensive potential this season but has lacked the ability to finish. Giving Carrier more of an increased role on the top line could come with more scoring.
Don’t rely on any more late-game heroics
On Sunday, for the sixth time this season, the Vegas Golden Knights scored with the extra attacker on the ice. They have built up quite the reputation of being a team that is deadly with the extra man. But for Alex Pietrangelo and Peter DeBoer, this is not a trend the team wants to keep going forwards.
“Unfortunately, we’ve probably been in that situation more than we’ve wanted to be which leads to a little bit of confidence. Hopefully, we can rectify that and not be in situations where we have to pull our goalie and have to come back,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.
Pietrangelo calls their success with the extra-man a result of “too much experience.” Look for the Golden Knights to try and win things without a late third-period comeback Tuesday night.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
William Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Reilly Smith
Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Brett Howden- Nolan Patrick- Michael Amadio
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore– Zach Whitecloud
Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan
Logan Thompson/Laurent Brossoit
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
Special Teams: 19.10% Powerplay (16th) and 76.77% Penalty Kill (25th)
PP1: Roy, Karlsson, Smith, Marchessault, Theodore
PP2: Patrick, Stephenson, Dadonov, Pietrangelo, Coghlan
PK1: Stephenson, Janmark, McNabb, Whitecloud
PK2: Karlsson, Smith, Hutton, Pietrangelo
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols
Jack Eichel, Jake Bischoff, Alec Martinez, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Robin Lehner, Nicolas Hague
Adam Brooks, Daniil Miromanov, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg
Projected Nashville Predators Line Combinations
Filip Forsberg- Mikhael Granlund- Matt Duchene
Eeli Tolvanen- Ryan Johansen- Luke Kunin
Yakov Trenin- Colton Sissons- Tanner Jeannot
Nick Cousins- Michael McCarron- Philip Tomasino
Roman Josi- Alexandre Carrier
Mattias Ekholm- Matt Benning
Mark Borowiecki- Philippe Myers
Juuse Saros/David Rittich
Nashville Predators Special Teams
26.04% Powerplay (6th) and 81.82% % Penalty Kill (10th)
PP1: Johansen, Granlund, Duchene, Forsberg, Josi
PP2: Kunin, Cousins, Tomasino, Tolvanen, Ekholm
PK1: Granlund, Jeannot, Carrier, Josi
PK2: Kunin, Trenin, Boroweicki, Ekholm
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols
Thomas Novak, Dante Fabbro
How to Watch/Listen: 7:00 pm on ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.