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Golden Knights Gameday 63: Luck of the Irish? Lines, Notes, vs Panthers

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The Vegas Golden Knights (32-26-4, 68 points) have lost five straight games and ten of their last fourteen. As they continue to drop points in the Western Conference playoff race, they take on one of the NHL’s hottest teams in the Florida Panthers (41-13-6, 88 points) Thursday night.

Both Brett Howden and Mattias Janmark have a shot at returning from injury tonight. Nicolas Hague is listed as being out. Both Paul Cotter and Daniil Miromanov have been re-assigned to the Henderson Silver Knights. Derrick Pouliot has been called up from the AHL and signed to an NHL contract.

The Golden Knights are coming off an 0-5 road trip with their most recent loss coming to the Winnipeg Jets. Their offense has slowly improved after they went on a stretch scoring three or fewer goals in four-straight games. But everyone needs to step up with the team sinking in the standings.

“We need a little bit more emotion right now. With this time of year heading into the playoffs we need that emotion,” said Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

Keys to the game

Get in Front of Pucks

Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer was honest when asked about his goaltending after the loss to Winnipeg. The tandem of Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson have let in 17 goals in the last three.

“They just didn’t get in front of enough pucks. It’s pretty simple. I am not a goaltending expert but you have to get in front of a couple,” said DeBoer.

With the trade deadline nearing, the Golden Knights need to figure out their goaltending as Robin Lehner looks to be on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

Luck of the Irish

As DeBoer has said many times over the Golden Knight’s recent struggles, this team is not far off from winning. There are obviously some areas in which they need to improve, but for the most part, this team has been in a lot of games that they ended up losing. They just keep finding ways to lose.

Maybe the answer for the Golden Knights to get back on track is superstitious. Perhaps all it takes for pucks to start going in is for someone to try a different tape job, eat a different pregame meal, or have a different warm-up routine.

With today being St. Patrick’s Day, maybe the ‘Luck of the Irish’ can come and save the Golden Knights.

Take Advantage of a Shifting Roster

While the Golden Knights have yet to make any moves prior to the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, the Panthers have made two. They have traded for defenseman Ben Chiarot and also shipped off Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers. It is clear that the Panthers are going all-in this season.

The Golden Knights can potentially take advantage of these shifting roster moves by the Panthers by playing hard against the newly acquired Chiarot and shifted forward line combinations.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

William Karlsson- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault

Evgenii Dadonov- Chandler Stephenson- Nicolas Roy

Mattias Janmark- Nolan Patrick- Keegan Kolesar

William Carrier- Brett Howden- Michael Amadio

Dylan Coghlan- Alex Pietrangelo

Shea Theodore- Zach Whitecloud

Brayden Pachal- Derrick Pouliot

Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

18.01% Powerplay (26th) and 78.82% Penalty Kill (18th)

PP1: Eichel, Dadonov, Marchessault, Theodore

PP2: Roy, Karlsson, Stephenson, Pietrangelo, Coghlan

PK1: Karlsson, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo

PK2: Stephenson, Leschyshyn, Theodore, Whitecloud

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

Alec Martinez (face), Mark Stone (back), Brayden McNabb (hand), Reilly Smith (knee), Robin Lehner (lower-body), Max Pacioretty (unknown), Ben Hutton (COVID-19 protocols), Daniil Miromanov (face), Nicolas Hague (unknown), Jonas Rondbjerg (scratched), Jake Leschyshyn (scratched)

Projected Florida Panthers Line Combinations

Joe Thornton- Alexander Barkov- Carter Verhaeghe

Jonathan Huberdeau- Sam Bennett- Sam Reinhart

Mason Marchment- Eetu Luostarinen- Anthony Duclair

Maxim Mamin- Noel Acciari- Patric Hornqvist

Mackenzie Weegar- Aaron Ekblad

Gustav Forsling- Radko Gudas

Ben Chiarot- Brandon Montour

Sergei Bobrovsky/Spencer Knight

Florida Panthers Special Teams

23.44% Powerplay (10th) and 80.10% Penalty Kill (15th)

PP1- Reinhart, Duclair, Barkov, Huberdeau, Ekblad

PP2- Hornqvist, Bennett, Verhaeghe, Marchment, Montour

PK1- Luostarinen, Huberdeau, Weegar, Ekblad

PK2- Barkov, Acciari, Chiarot, Gudad

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Markus Nutivaara, Ryan Lomberg, Anton Lundell

How to Watch/Listen

7:30 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 is the new beat writer covering 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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