The Vegas Golden Knights (41-30-5, 87 points) are in desperation mode to make the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs with just six games remaining on their schedule. Monday night they will play the New Jersey Devils (26-42-7, 59 points) at 7:00 on home ice at T-Mobile Arena.
This starts a three-game homestand for the Golden Knights. After that, they will be on the road for the last three games of the regular season and potentially, the entire season.
The Golden Knights are four points back of the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators for the second Wild Card spot and three back of the Los Angeles Kings for the last spot in the Pacific Division standings. Here is your updated Western Conference playoff standings outlook.
After a one-game absence for personal reasons, Robin Lehner is expected to start against the Devils. Lehner has played four games since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him out for roughly a month. Jiri Patera, who backed up in Lehner’s absence, has been reassigned to the Silver Knights.
Logan Thompson recently saw his five-game winning streak come to an end. But his overall play this season has earned him a new set of pads. He can finally put his silver Henderson pads to rest. However, he will not get to test his new pads out during game action on Monday.
Peter DeBoer has also made a few tweaks in his lines, putting Mark Stone with Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault and also promoting Chandler Stephenson to the second-line center position.
Keys to the Game
Stone Needs to Make His Mark
After missing a substantial amount of games, Mark Stone is back for the Golden Knights. But so far in his three games since returning from injury, Stone has zero points and is a -2. Nurturing his injury back to full health will take time, but that is something the Golden Knights do not have with six games left.
Play the Same in Front of Lehner
The Golden Knights, defensively speaking, seem to play differently in front of Logan Thompson than they do in front of Robin Lehner. This could be a coincidence or something mentality the team needs to handle. Regardless, the VGK will need a strong defensive effort in front of Lehner to ensure a win.
Don’t Let This Team Play Spoiler
The Devils are not a very good hockey team, simple as that. They are without some of their top players too such as Mackenzie Blackwood and Jack Hughes. But that won’t stop them from competing Monday night against the Golden Knights. Just because they have nothing left to play for this season does not mean they will not look to put a dent in the Golden Knight’s playoff hopes.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Jonathan Marchessault- Jack Eichel- Mark Stone
Max Pacioretty- Chandler Stephenson- Evgenii Dadonov
Mattias Janmark- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio
Jake Leschyshyn- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Alec Martinez- Zach Whitecloud
Robin Lehner/Logan Thompson
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
17.41% Powerplay (24th) and 77.39% 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
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 New Jersey Devils Line Combinations
Pavel Zacha- Nico Hischier- Jesper Bratt
Tomas Tatar- Dawson Mercer- Fabian Zetterlund
Yegor Sharangovich- Jesper Boqvist- Janne Kuokkanen
Andreas Johnsson- Michael McLeod- Nathan Bastian
Colton White- Damon Severson
Kevin Bahl- Dougie Hamilton
Ty Smith- PK Subban
Nico Daws/Andrew Hammond
New Jersey Devils Special Teams
16.19% Powerplay (28th) and 79.70% Penalty Kill (16th)
PP1- Bastian, Hischier, Bratt, Zacha, Hamilton
PP2- Sharangovich, Mercer, Tatar, Zetterlund, Severson
PK1- McLeod, Kuokkanen, Bahl, Severson
PK2- Hischier, Sharangovich, White, Subban
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches
Mackenzie Blackwood, Jonathan Bernier, Jack Hughes, Jimmy Vesey, Jonas Siegenthaler, Miles Wood, Ryan Graves
How to Watch/Listen
7:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.