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Golden Knights Gameday #57: Sinking Sens: Lines, Notes, vs Senators

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Vegas Golden Knights Ottawa Senators HOME

Vegas Golden Knights (31-21-4, 66 points) have what would many would call a light schedule this week. They will play four non-playoff teams in five games. But that is not to say that these games will be easy for the Golden Knights, who have had a recent loss to the basement-dwelling Arizona Coyotes.

Sunday afternoon the Golden Knights will play the rebuilding Ottawa Senators (19-30-5, 43 points) who are coming off an embarrassing week where they were outscored 18-8 by opponents. The Senators have lost four-straight games and let Nick Schmaltz score seven points on them Saturday night.

With the Senators coming off this loss on the first half of a back-to-back they will be a club out to prove themselves against the Golden Knights. Anton Forsberg will likely start in net given Matt Murray’s start against the Arizona Coyotes.

The Golden Knights beat the Senators 5-1 earlier in the season with Jonathan Marchessault scoring two goals in that game. They are 6-1 all-time against the Senators. Robin Lehner will likely get the start against his former team and Nick Holden and Evgenii Dadonov will take on their former teams as well.

Keys To The Game

Start Rolling Against These Teams

With the current state of the Pacific Division and the funk that the Golden Knights are currently trying to get out of the upcoming schedule looks promising. The Golden Knights need to not play down to the level of their opponents and string together some wins to gain some ground in the standings.

The Golden Knights have only three wins since introducing Jack Eichel to their lineup and placing Mark Stone on LTIR. They will look for their first set of consecutive wins since Feb. 8th Sunday afternoon against the Senators.

Continue to Experiment

In the Golden Knight’s last game against the Ducks head coach Peter DeBoer shuffled up his lines with Nicolas Roy on the first line, Chandler Stephenson back at center, and Ben Hutton paired with Dylan Coghlan. This worked out beautifully as Roy scored two goals and Hutton scored his 100th career point.

The Golden Knights can take advantage of their current unfortunate injuries and continue to develop chemistry between players that would likely never be paired together with a fully-healthy roster.

Schmaltz’s Second Coming?

Outside of maybe Jonathan Marchessault, nobody on the Golden Knights is hot right now. Nobody is riding a crazy goal or point streak given the team’s recent struggles to simply score overall. Against the Senators, who let me remind you again, allowed Nick Schmaltz to score seven points on them Saturday, perhaps this is a game where a player can break free and score a hat-trick for the Golden Knights.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Evgenii Dadonov- Jack Eichel- Nicolas Roy

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Reilly Smith

William Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Michael Amadio

Jonas Rondbjerg- Jake Leschyshyn- Keegan Kolesar

Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo

Zach Whitecloud- Shea Theodore

Ben Hutton- Dylan Coghlan

Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

17.61% Powerplay (24th) and 79.47% Penalty Kill (18th)

PP1: Marchessault, Karlsson, Smith, Eichel, Pietrangelo

PP2: Dadonov, Roy, Kolesar, Theodore, Coghlan

PK1: Karlsson, Smith, Hague, Pietrangelo

PK2: Stephenson, Roy, Hutton, Whitecloud

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

Mark Stone (back), Alec Martinez (face), Nolan Patrick (head), Brayden McNabb (hand), Max Pacioretty (unknown), Mattias Janmark (unknown), Brett Howden (unknown)

Projected Ottawa Senators Line Combinations

Brady Tkachuk- Josh Norris- Connor Brown

Alex Formenton- Tim Stutzle- Adam Gaudette

Nick Paul- Colin White- Zach Sanford

Parker Kelly- Dylan Gambrell- Austin Watson

Thomas Chabot- Nikita Zaitsev

Nick Holden- Artem Zub

Erik Brannstrom- Josh Brown

Anton Forsberg/Matt Murray

Ottawa Senators Special Teams

16.46% Powerplay (27th) and 80.46% Penalty Kill (13th)

PP1- Tkachuk, White, Norris, Stutzle, Chabot

PP2- Brown, Gaudette, Sanford, Formenton, Brannstrom

PK1- Paul, Watson, Holden, Zaitsev

PK2- Gambrell, Sanford, Zub, Brown

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Drake Batherson, Shane Pinto

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. 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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