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Golden Knights Gameday 64: Most Important Game of the Year? Lines, Notes, vs Kings

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Vegas Golden Knights Los Angeles Kings HOME

The Vegas Golden Knights (33-26-4, 70 points) enter Saturday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Kings (34-21-8, 76 points) coming off a massive victory over the Florida Panthers 5-3. The Golden Knights appear to be getting back on track after losing ten of 14 games and going 0-5 on a road trip.

They will have a huge challenge Saturday as they take on the second in the Pacific Division Kings who are having an impressive season. The Kings have taken advantage of the wide-open Pacific Division and are six points ahead of the Golden Knights in the standings.

But the Kings have struggled lately and have a 4-8 record in their last 12 games. This, like the Golden Knights, is mostly due to injury. The Kings are missing key players such as Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Andreas Athanasiou, and Viktor Arvidsson.

The Golden Knights are missing Mark Stone, Robin Lehner, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, and more. All signs are pointing toward Jack Eichel joining the injured list as well. Against the Panthers, Eichel blocked a shot from Mackenzie Weegar and suffered a hand injury.

Saturday is also the last game before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline for the Golden Knights. It is unknown what general manager Kelly McCrimmon has up his sleeves but he may look to patch the team’s injuries by adding a goaltender like Semyon Varlamov.

Keys to the Game

Rise to the Occasion

The Golden Knights rose to the occasion Thursday night against the Panthers and earned a hard-fought two points in a gutsy effort against one of the best teams in the NHL. They will look to replicate this success Saturday against a Kings team that they trail in the standings.

This is a huge game no matter how you look at it as the standings are pretty cut and dry as to why these two points are needed for the VGK. Before Thursday’s game against the Panthers, the Golden Knights actually dropped out of a playoff spot briefly as the Dallas Stars passed them.

The VGK needs a win tonight against the Kings to keep them at bay in the standings while also gaining momentum themselves.

Injuries Aren’t Excuses

Having around ten players out for any team will start to wear on you no matter how much you try and ignore it. The Golden Knights are missing a significant handful of key players to their lineup. But they cannot let this dictate the way they play against the Kings, who are also in the same boat.

The Kings, despite their recent struggles, continue to win games even with their injuries.

We saw depth players for the Golden Knights step up against the Panthers with Evgenii Dadonov and Brett Howden both scoring. To beat the Kings with their current lineup, the Golden Knights will need to have this happen again.

Consistency at Home

After a rough 0-5 road trip coming home and hitting the reset button against the Panthers was refreshing for the Golden Knights. It seemed as if the home crowd at T-Mobile Arena played a huge impact in getting the team out of the funk that they were in.

The Golden Knights have struggled at home this season compared to other seasons. But perhaps the VGK can build off the home crowd even more with their eight remaining home games in the stretch run.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Evgenii Dadonov- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault

William Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Nicolas Roy

Mattias Janmark- Nolan Patrick- Michael Amadio

Jake Leschyshyn- Brett Howden- Keegan Kolesar

Alex Pietrangelo- Dylan Coghlan

Shea Theodore- Zach Whitecloud

Derrick Pouliot- Daniil Miromanov

Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

18.29% Powerplay (24th) and 78.26% Penalty Kill (20th)

PP1: Dadonov, Stephenson, Marchessault, Karlsson, Theodore

PP2: Carrier, Patrick, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo

PK1: Karlsson, Roy, Pietrangelo, Coghlan

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), Nicolas Hague (unknown), Jack Eichel (hand), Ben Hutton (COVID-19 protocols)

Projected Los Angeles Kings Line Combinations

Alex Iafallo- Anze Kopitar- Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore- Phillip Danault- Arthur Kaliyev

Gabe Vilardi- Quinton Byfield- Rasmus Kupari

Carl Grundstrom- Blake Lizotte- Martin Frk

Olli Maatta- Jordan Spence

Alex Edler- Austin Strand

Jacob Moverare- Sean Durzi

Cal Petersen/Jonathan Quick

Kings Special Teams

15.82% Powerplay (28th) and 74.57% Penalty Kill (27th)

PP1- Iafallo, Kopitar, Danault, Durzi, Kempe

PP2- Vilardi, Byfield, Kaliyev, Frk, Spence

PK1- Kopitar, Iafallo, Maatta, Edler

PK2- Danault, Kempe, Moverare, Durzi

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Sean Walker, Andreas Athanasiou, Dustin Brown, Brendan Lemieux, Viktor Arvidsson, Mikey Anderson, Drew Doughty, Matt Roy

How to Watch/Listen

1:00 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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