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Golden Knights Gameday 76: Keep Rolling: Lines, Notes vs Oilers

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Vegas Golden Knights Edmonton Oilers AWAY

The Vegas Golden Knights (41-29-5, 87 points) will try and sweep their Alberta trip up against the Edmonton Oilers (43-26-6, 92 points) on Saturday. The Golden Knights are coming off of a commanding win over the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames Thursday night 6-1.

But no style points are awarded for beating a team by five goals. The VGK currently still sit out of a playoff spot with 85 points in the standings. They are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the last Wild Card spot and the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific. Both the Stars and Kings play Saturday.

Logan Thompson will likely get his second-straight start. The rookie goaltender is currently on a five-game winning streak and head coach Peter DeBoer is riding the hot goalie to try and get his team into the plays. That, and the fact that Robin Lehner has returned back to Las Vegas for family reasons mean LT will most likely be in net Saturday afternoon in Edmonton.

If the Golden Knights manage to sneak into the playoffs as the third spot in the Pacific Division, the Oilers will likely be their opponent in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After struggling in the early portions of the season the Oilers now have the fifth-best record in the Western Conference. They are led in scoring by none other than Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid who combined have 215 points.

Important Games on Saturday: CHI/NSH 9:30, SJS/DAL 5:00, LAK/CBJ 7:30

Keys to the Game

Draisaitl and McDavid, Oh My!

It goes without saying, but neutralizing these two players should be the biggest focus for the Golden Knight’s defense. Draisaitl has 23 powerplay goals this season. Jonathan Marchessault, who leads the Golden Knights in scoring has 29 total goals this season. The Golden Knights need someone like Brayden McNabb to throw a thunderous hit on one of these superstars to get them second-guessing their plays.

Ignore Kane

Evander Kane hilariously spurred an incident the other night that saw Ryan Hartman give him the finger. Personally, I don’t blame Hartman as Kane is, well, one of ‘those players’ to say the least. But the Golden Knights can’t afford to get into Kane’s nonsense with important points on the line.

Against the Flames, Keegan Kolesar remained disciplined after he threw a high hit on Chris Tanev. The usual suspects of Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk went after Kolesar but he politely declined to say the least. The Golden Knights need more of this, and to take advantage of the powerplays given to them.

PP Streak Broken

Speaking of the Golden Knights powerplay, the streak ended against the Flames with Nicolas Roy scoring. This snapped the worst drought in team history as the VGK went 0-for-20. Now it is time for the Golden Knight’s powerplay to build off the Roy goal and go on a run. They have all the right tools ar their disposal too with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty back.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Mattias Janmark- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault

Max Pacioretty- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone

Evgenii Dadonov- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio

Jake Leschyshyn- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore

Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo

Alec Martinez- Zach Whitecloud

Logan Thompson/Jiri Patera

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

17.68% Powerplay (24th) and 77.27% Penalty Kill (21st)

PP1: Pacioretty, Eichel, Stone Dadonov, Theodore

PP2: Roy, Karlsson, Marchessault, Stephenson, Pietrangelo

PK1: Karlsson, Janmark, McNabb, Pietrangelo

PK2: Stephenson, Roy, Martinez, Whitecloud

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

Robin Lehner (personal), Reilly Smith (knee), Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed), Nicolas Hague (lower-body), Brett Howden (upper-body), William Carrier (lower-body), Nolan Patrick (undisclosed), Dylan Coghlan (scratched), Jonas Rondbjerg (scratched)

Projected Edmonton Oilers Line Combinations

Evander Kane- Connor McDavid- Jesse Puljujarvi

Zach Hyman- Leon Draisaitl- Kailer Yamamoto

Warren Foegele- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- Derek Ryan

Kris Russell*- Ryan McLeod- Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse- Cody Ceci

Duncan Keith- Evan Bouchard

Brett Kulak- Tyson Barrie

Mike Smith/Mikko Koskinen

Edmonton Oilers Special Teams

26.03% Powerplay (3rd) and 78.26% Penalty Kill (20th)

PP1- Hyman, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, McDavid, Barrie

PP2- Kane, McLeod, Yamamoto, Keith, Bouchard

PK1- Hyman, Yamamoto, Nurse, Ceci

PK2- Nugent-Hopkins, McLeod, Kulak, Keith

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell, Derick Brassard

How to Watch/Listen

1:30 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 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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