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.