The Vegas Golden Knights (39-29-4, 82 points) will close out their season series Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes (22-44-5, 49 points). With both the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, and Nashville Predators collecting points on Thursday, the Golden Knights remain out of a playoff spot.
Today the Stars play at 11:00, the Predators at 3:00, and the Oilers at 7:00. It will be another night of scoreboard watching in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights are coming off of an ugly loss to the Vancouver Canucks who kept their playoff hopes alive defeating the VGK 5-1 on home ice.
“We just got to get back to doing what we did for the previous two weeks. We were playing really good hockey.”I am going to assume that it was just a blip and we are going to move forward,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer following Friday’s morning skate.
Max Pacioretty is expected to return to the team after working with the third-line and top powerplay unit in practice. DeBoer lists him as a game-time decision. He has missed 53 overall games this season with his current undisclosed injury keeping him out for the last 12 games.
In what is certainly a cap-space move, Nicolas Hague and Brett Howden were placed on LTIR Friday. Mark Stone also skated Saturday morning but is out for the Golden Knights.
I’m short on time here so real quick here are my keys to the game: 1) Utilize Max Pacioretty in his return 2) Get confident goaltending from Robin Lehner 3) Take advantage of special teams as the Coyotes have the worst penalty kill in the league and second-worst powerplay.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Max Pacioretty- Jack Eichel- Chandler Stephenson
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Evgenii Dadonov
Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Dylan Coghlan*- Jake Leschyshyn- Michael Amadio
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Alec Martinez- Zach Whitecloud
Robin Lehner/Logan Thompson
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
18.09% Powerplay (24th) and 78.01% Penalty Kill (20th)
PP1: Pacioretty, Stephenson, Marchessault, Theodore, Eichel
PP2: Dadonov, Karlsson, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo
PK1: Karlsson, Roy, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Stephenson, Janmark, Martinez, Whitecloud
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad
Mark Stone (back), Reilly Smith (knee), Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed), Nicolas Hague (lower-body), Brett Howden (upper-body), William Carrier (lower-body), Nolan Patrick (undisclosed).
Projected Arizona Coyotes Line Combinations
Nick Ritchie- Travis Boyd- Nick Schmaltz
Michael Carcone- Barrett Hayton- Phil Kessel
Jan Jenik- Jay Beagle- Loui Eriksson
Andrew Ladd- Alex Galchenyuk- Matias Maccelli
Shayne Gostisbehere- Dysin Mayo
Cam Dineen- Anton Stralman
Kyle Capobianco- Vladislav Kolyachonok
Karel Vejmelka/Harri Sateri
Arizona Coyotes Special Teams
13.64% Powerplay (31st) and 72.69% Penalty Kill (32nd)
PP1- Ritchie, Boyd, Schmaltz, Kessel, Gostisbehere
PP2- Ladd, Hayton, Galchenyuk, Maccelli, Capobianco
PK1- Beagle, Eriksson, Mayo, Stralman
PK2- Hayton, Boyd, Dineen, Gostisbehere
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches
Clayton Keller, Antoine Roussel, Conor Timmins, Dmitrij Jaskin, Lawson Crouse, Janis Moser, Christian Fischer, Jakob Chychrun
How to Watch/Listen
7:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.