The Vegas Golden Knights (37-28-4, 78 points) are out of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture once more as the Dallas Stars have them in the standings again. They will have a chance to leapfrog Dallas in the playoff race once more Friday night as they play the Seattle Kraken (21-40-6, 48 points).
The Golden Knights are coming off of a 3-0 win against the Kraken on Wednesday where Logan Thompson stopped 23 saves for his first career shutout. Even with Robin Lehner now back from injury, you have to think Peter DeBoer will go to the hot goalie in Thompson for his ninth straight start.
I tweeted out earlier that the Golden Knights were in the process of signing a young forward from Rytíři Kladno in the Czech League. The player is named “Jaromir Jagr” and will join the Golden Knights on the fourth line. Happy April Fools Day everyone.
Keys to the Game
These past few games the Golden Knights have welcomed back both Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez to the lineup and it has been quite noticeable. The VGK’s defense has improved drastically overall and has limited teams to shooting from the outside.
This has played an effect on the forwards too with centerman becoming more responsible in their own zone. Don’t be surprised if DeBoer goes with seven defensemen again versus the Kraken.
Get Marchy Marching
Jonathan Marchessault scored an empty-net goal against the Kraken Wednesday. This was his first goal in seven games and will likely get him out of the minor goal-scoring slump that he had. Marchessault leads the team with 26 goals and 55 points in 63 games and has been the best source of offense for the team this season. Expect a goal or two out of Marchessault Friday night.
Special Teams Take Advantage
If there was one area that the Golden Knights could have taken advantage of more in Wednesday night’s game against the Kraken it was special teams. The Golden Knights went 0/3 on the powerplay despite being up against both the 29th worst powerplay and penalty kill in the Seattle Kraken.
Maybe that new forward named Jagr can pot a few goals on the powerplay?
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Evgenii Dadonov- Jack Eichel- Chandler Stephenson
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio
Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Jonas Rondbjerg- Jake Leschyshyn-
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Alec Martinez- Zach Whitecloud/Dylan Coghlan
Logan Thompson/Robin Lehner
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
18.78% Powerplay (23rd) and 78.69% Penalty Kill (17th)
PP1: Dadonov, Stephenson, Marchessault, Theodore, Eichel
PP2: Janmark, Karlsson, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo
PK1: Karlsson, Janmark, Hutton, Pietrangelo
PK2: Stephenson, Roy, Martinez, Whitecloud
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad
Mark Stone (back), Max Pacioretty (undisclosed), Reilly Smith (knee), Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed), Nicolas Hague (lower-body), Brett Howden (upper-body), William Carrier (lower-body), Nolan Patrick (undisclosed), Pavel Dorofeyev (scratched)
Projected Seattle Kraken Line Combinations
Ryan Donato- Alexander Wennberg- Jordan Eberle
Victor Rask- Yanni Gourde- Karson Kuhlman
Jared McCann- Morgan Geekie- Kole Lind
Daniel Sprong- Riley Sheahan- Joonas Donskoi
Vince Dunn- Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak- Carson Soucy
Derrick Pouliot- Will Borgen
Chris Driedger/Phillip Grubauer
Seattle Kraken Special Teams
14.92% Powerplay (29th) and 73.74% Penalty Kill (29th)
PP1- Donato, Gourde, Eberle, McCann, Dunn
PP2- Wennberg, Rask, Sprong, Geekie, Soucy
PK1- Sheahan, Donskoi, Soucy, Oleksiak
PK2- Gourde, Kuhlman, Larsson, Borgen
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches
Brandon Tanev, Joonas Donskoi, Jaden Schwartz, Haydn Fleury
How to Watch/Listen
7:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.