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Golden Knights Gameday 67: Daddy’s Home: Lines, Notes, vs Predators

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Offense has been the biggest struggle for the Vegas Golden Knights (34-28-4, 72 points) as they have gone two games without scoring a goal. They will look to not only fix this but earn an essential two points against the Nashville Predators (37-23-4, 78 points) Thursday night at home.

One guy that could help the Golden Knights in their offensive efforts is Evgenii Dadonov, who has had an eventful week, to say the least. General manager Kelly McCrimmon tried to trade Dadonov at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline to the Anaheim Ducks (keyword- tried).

The NHL voided the deal Wednesday as Dadonov’s 10-team no-trade list was not honored by the Golden Knights. He remains a Vegas Golden Knight and will likely play tonight.

Here’s the best analogy of the Dadonov situation I found.

Dadonov will not be the only scoring winger the Golden Knights will bring back into their lineup against the Predators. Max Pacioretty skated Thursday morning and is listed as a game-time decision.

Jonas Rondbjerg, Daniil Miromanov, Zack Hayes, and Paul Cotter have all been reassigned to the AHL.

Laurent Brossoit was absent from morning skate and Jiri Patera skated as a backup goaltender. DeBoer stated that Brossoit was able to backup Logan Thompson the last few games, but now has an injury that has reached a point where he cannot anymore so Patera will serve as backup.

DeBoer also said that Brayden McNabb and Robin Lehner are the two closest players to returning for the Golden Knights on the injury front, outside of Zach Whitecloud and Michael Amadio who are in COVID protocols. Mark Stone and Reilly Smith are still a ways out from returning per DeBoer.

Keys to the Game

Water Under the Bridge

The Evgenii Dadonov situation is certainly unique, and something we have never seen in the NHL. But for Dadonov and the Golden Knights, this issue should be water under the bridge entering Thursday’s game. While things may be a little awkward between Dadonov, his agent, and management, his play on the ice and relationship with his teammates should not be affected.

Dadonov was essentially robbed of two games from his NHL career. He wasn’t injured, he was just in a state of limbo that should have never happened it resulted from bad management on behalf of two different NHL teams.

“If there is anyone who can handle this situation, it is him,” said head coach Peter DeBoer on Dadonov.

Before this strange scenario, Dadonov scored five goals in his last seven games. The Golden Knights need Dadonov to come back and put up these numbers again in his re-debut with the VGK.

Games at Hand

One thing that might come back and bite the Golden Knights was their late-December/early January schedule when the NHL postponed over 100 games due to COVID-19. The Golden Knights only had four of their games postponed, and have since been at the top of the NHL in overall games played.

This means that the Golden Knights have no margin for error during the stretch run to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Teams that are battling the VGK in the Western Conference playoff push such as the Dallas Stars (4 games), Edmonton Oilers (2 games), Nashville Predators (2 games), and LA Kings (1 game) all have games at hand on the Golden Knights.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Evgenii Dadonov- Jack Eichel- Nicolas Roy

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Keegan Kolesar

Mattias Janmark- Chandler Stephenson- William Carrier

Jake Leschyshyn- Brett Howden- Nolan Patrick

Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo

Shea Theodore- Dylan Coghlan

Zack Hayes- Daniil Miromanov

Logan Thompson/Jiri Patera

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

18.13% Powerplay (26th) and 78.75% Penalty Kill (18th)

PP1: Eichel, Stephenson, Marchessault, Karlsson, Theodore

PP2: Patrick, Stephenson, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo

PK1: Karlsson, Roy, Pietrangelo, Hutton

PK2: Stephenson, Leschyshyn, Theodore, Coghlan

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

Alec Martinez (face), Mark Stone (back), Brayden McNabb (hand), Max Pacioretty (undisclosed), Reilly Smith (knee), Robin Lehner (lower-body), Laurent Brossoit (unknown), Nicolas Hague (unknown), Michael Amadio (COVID), Zach Whitecloud (COVID)

Projected Nashville Predators Line Combinations

Filip Forsberg- Ryan Johansen- Matt Duchene

Eeli Tolvanen- Mikael Granlund- Luke Kunin

Yakov Trenin- Colton Sissons- Tanner Jeannot

Nick Cousins- Michael McCarron- Philip Tomasino

Romas Josi- Alex Carrier

Mattias Ekholm- Jeremy Lauzon

Mark Borowiecki- Matt Tennyson

Juuse Saros/David Rittich

Nashville Predators Special Teams

24.50% Powerplay (6th) and 80.45% Penalty Kill (12th)

PP1- Johansen, Granlund, Duchene, Forsberg, Josi

PP2- Cousins, Sissons, Tomasino, Tolvanen, Ekholm

PK1- Sissons, Jeannot, Borowiecki, Carrier

PK2- Granlund, Trenin, Josi, Ekholm

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Matt Benning, Dante Fabbro

How to Watch/Listen

7:00 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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