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Golden Knights Gameday #51: Much Needed Win, Lines, Notes, vs Sharks

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Vegas Golden Knights San Jose Sharks AWAY

The Vegas Golden Knights (28-18-4) need a win Sunday afternoon against the San Jose Sharks (22-21-5). There is really no other way to slice it. The Golden Knights have lost three-straight games and are sinking in the Pacific Division Standings. They were shutout against the Flames and Avalanche and set a franchise record of going 147:57 without scoring a goal.

The Golden Knight’s defense has been a mess as of late and guys like Evgenii Dadonov, Chandler Stephenson, Mattias Janmark, and Nicolas Roy have been absent offensively. The Golden Knights have yet to win a game with newly acquired Jack Eichel in their lineup.

In terms of lineup changes none are expected for the Golden Knights. However injured players in Robin Lehner and Zach Whitecloud were at Saturday’s practice. William Karlsson missed Saturday’s practice but it was just a maintenance day. Laurent Brossoit will likely get his third-straight start unless head coach Peter DeBoer wants to give Logan Thompson a shot.

This is the first meeting between the rival Sharks and Golden Knights this season. The Sharks are currently 11 points behind the Golden Knights in the standings but have two games at hand. They are led in scoring by All-Star Timo Meier who has 50 points in 43 games.

Keys to the Game

Slumping Players Need to Score

Not only has scoring been lacking just overall with the Vegas Golden Knights, the team’s depth scoring is practically non-existent. The Eichel and Max Pacioretty on the top line are contributing and so is the Misfit Line. But guys like Stephenson, Dadonov, Janmark, and Roy have been absent on the scoresheet lately.

Stephenson has no points in his last seven games, and Dadonov in his last nine. Roy has no goals in his last ten, and Janmark in his last 13. Alex Pietrangelo has one point in his last ten games.

We saw Pacioretty’s scoring drought end against the Kings. The Golden Knights need more of this with some of their slumping players.

On the Road Again

The Golden Knights have surprisingly been a better road team on this season than at home. They are 14-11-3 at home this season and 14-7-1 on the road. For whatever reason the Golden Knights are playing better on the road and they will look to so the same at the Shark Tank Sunday afternoon.

For an analysis standpoint, the Golden Knights seem to play a much simpler game on the road. With the way that they have been playing as of late this simplified minset might just be what this team needs to get back on track.

A Win for DeBoer

The Golden Knights have been slipping in the standings as of late and are simply not looking like the Stanley Cup contenders that everyone seems to pin them as. With the history of the franchise (see Gerard Gallant) the Golden Knights are no stranger to not tolerating losses from their head coaches.

You have to wonder how much longer this can go on before head coach Peter DeBoer finds himself on the hot seat. This afternoon he will look to get only one win shy of his 500th career win against his former team in the San Jose Sharks.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Max Pacioretty- Jack Eichel– Chandler Stephenson

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson– Reilly Smith

Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Evgenii Dadonov

William Carrier- Brett Howden- Keegan Kolesar

Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore

Ben Hutton- Dylan Coghlan

Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

19.53% Powerplay (18th) and 78.99% Penalty Kill (18th)

PP1: Pacioretty, Dadonov, Stephenson, Eichel, Theodore

PP2: Roy, Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault Pietrangelo

PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo

PK2: Roy, Janmark, Hague, Theodore

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad

Mark Stone (back), Robin Lehner (upper-body), Alec Martinez (face), Zach Whitecloud (foot), Nolan Patrick (head), Michael Amadio (scratched)

Projected San Jose Sharks Line Combinations

Timo Meier- Tomas Hertl- Alexander Barbanov

Noah Gregor- Logan Couture- Jonathan Dahlen

Andrew Cogliano- Nick Bonino- Matthew Nieto

Jeffrey Viel- Lane Pederson- Jonah Gadjovich

Mario Ferraro- Brent Burns

Mac-Edouard Vlasic- Ryan Merkley

Jacob Middleton- Nicolas Meloche

James Reimer/Zachary Sawchenko

San Jose Sharks Special Teams

19.35% Powerplay (20th) and 84.55% Penalty Kill (6th)

PP1- Hertl, Couture, Barbanov, Meier, Burns

PP2- Pederson, Bonino, Gregor, Dahlen, Merkley

PK1- Couture, Cogliano, Ferraro, Burns

PK2- Bonino, Nieto, Middleton, Vlasic

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Erik Karlsson, Kevin Labanc, Adin Hill, Nikolai Knyzhov

How to Watch/Listen

5:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.

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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