The Vegas Golden Knights (29-20-4, 62 points) have struggled to find both offense and points in the standings lately and have lost five of their last six games. Tonight they take on the San Jose Sharks (24-23-6, 54 points) at 7:00 pm at T-Mobile Arena.
It will be first responders night at the Fortress Tuesday night and the Golden Knights will wear special warmup jerseys to honor first responders. After warmups, the jerseys will then be signed and auctioned off online. All money will go towards the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation.
Mattias Janmark and Max Pacioretty, who left the game against the Arizona Coyotes, will not be available one more. Janmark has been placed on IR and head coach Peter DeBoer says both players are not expected to return soon. Jake Leschyshyn has been recalled from the Henderson Silver Knights. William Carrier is also a game-time decision.
On the bright side, Tuesday night will see the return of Robin Lehner to the Golden Knights after he had missed the last five games. He will likely get the start against the Sharks.
Try Vegas https://t.co/RiNwV9wijc
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) February 28, 2022
The Sharks may seem like a team completely out of the reach of the Golden Knights but the two teams are only eight points removed in the standings. The San Jose Sharks, who aren’t rebuilding, are stuck in a bit of a limbo right now with their current contracts.
They have young players like Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl but are tied down with massive contracts to the likes of Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. This season they are led in scoring by Meier who has 53 points in 48 games.
As the former coach of the Sharks, Peter DeBoer will look to get his 500th career win as a head coach Tuesday night. If this happens, he will join just 28 other coaches in NHL history who have reached this milestone number.
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Keys to the Game
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It seems like everything has been doom and gloom for the Golden Knights lately. While the team has only one win since the arrival of Jack Eichel, they are taking steps in the right direction. Against the NHL’s best team in the Colorado Avalanche, the VGK played a strong game.
The message in the locker room right now is that the Golden Knights will get out of this mess and back to their winning ways. Losing five out of six is not the end of the world to this team and there is still plenty of time left in the season to rebound.
With two days since their last game, and against an opponent who historically, they have been great against in the regular season, the Golden Knights need this win Tuesday night.
“We’ve been playing pretty good hockey. Obviously, the end result is to get the win at the end of the night, so we need to find a way to do that,” said Golden Knights defenseman Ben Hutton.
Someone Has to Play Wing
With Janmark, Pacioretty, Nolan Patrick, Mark Stone, and potentially now Carrier all out for the Golden Knights the depth at wing is now thin. We have seen Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy play wing in these past couple of games.
It will likely be the case Tuesday night as well as guys like Jake Leschyshn or Brett Howden could be thrust into a new position given the Golden Knight’s current injuries. This could affect these young players positioning negatively.
“I had never been in the top two or three teams for man-games lost in a year and now I have a new appreciation for what that is like. It is really tough to deal with and it can be devastating. But thankfully for our group, it hasn’t been,” said DeBoer.
Get Back to a Home Winning Record
The Golden Knights have had a rough home record this year with just a 14-12-3 record. Against the Sharks, the Golden Knights are 10-3 in the regular season. The VGK will look for a big home win Tuesday night.
With February over, March madness is also upon us, and the Golden Knights will be playing 17 games in 32 days which is more than a game every other day. If the Golden Knights can string together wins, then the outlook of their season can become completely different heading into the playoffs.
“We’re ready to play. We’re ready to get in that rotation of playing every other night. I think we missed the past month. Guys thrive on that routine,” said DeBoer.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Chandler Stephenson- Jack Eichel- Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Reilly Smith
Jonas Rondbjerg- Nicolas Roy- Michael Amadio
Jake Leschyshyn- Brett Howden- Keegan Kolesar
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague- Zach Whitecloud
Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
18.52% Powerplay (21st) and 80.14% Penalty Kill (13th)
PP1: Kolesar, Dadonov, Stephenson, Eichel, Theodore
PP2: Roy, Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault, Pietrangelo
PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Roy, Kolesar, Hague, Whitecloud
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad
Mark Stone (back), Alec Martinez (face), Nolan Patrick (head), Max Pacioretty (unknown), Mattias Janmark (unknown), William Carrier (unknown), Dylan Coghlan (scratched)
Projected San Jose Sharks Line Combinations
Timo Meier- Tomas Hertl- Alexander Barbanov
Ryan Dzingel- Logan Couture- Noah Gregor
Scott Reedy- Nick Bonino- Matt Nieto
Jeffrey Viel- Jasper Weatherby- Jonah Gadjovich
Jacob Middleton- Brent Burns
Mac-Edouard Vlasic- Nicolas Meloche
Radim Simek- Ryan Merkley
James Reimer/Zach Sawchenko
San Jose Sharks Special Teams
19.72% Powerplay (19th) and 86.13% Penalty Kill (2nd)
PP1- Hertl, Couture, Barabanov, Meier, Burns
PP2- Reedy, Bonino, Dzingel, Gregor, Merkley
PK1- Couture, Nieto, Middleton, Burns
PK2- Hertl, Bonino, Vlasic, Meloche
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches
Nikolai Knyzhov, Kevin Labanc, Erik Karlsson, Mario Ferraro, Adin Hill, Rudolfs Balcers, Andrew Cogliano
How to Watch/Listen
7:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.