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Golden Knights Gameday

Golden Knights Gameday 6: Defending Cup Champs: Lines and Notes vs Avalanche



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The Vegas Golden Knights (4-1-0, eight points) will challenge the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche (2-2-1, five points) Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The VGK are coming off a 5-2 Thursday night win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Avalanche lost Friday night in Seattle 3-2.

Logan Thompson is expected to be back in goal for the VGK. With the Avalanche coming off of a back-to-back, Alexander Georgiev will get the start for them. Don’t look now but the Golden Knights (outside of season-ending injured to Nolan Patrick and Robin Lehner) are fully healthy.

The same cannot be said about the Avalanche, who have lost captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next twelve weeks with a knee injury. They also lost goaltender Darcy Kuemper and center Nazem Kadri to free agency in 2022, which will make for a new-look Avalanche team as Cup Contenders.

What to Watch For

First Major Test

The Golden Knights have played 2022 playoff teams in their schedule already, with the LA Kings and Calgary Flames. But this matchup against the defending Stanley Cup Champions is leaps and bounds ahead of these two teams.

Even if they did lose some key pieces in free agency, the Avs are still projected to be one of the best teams in the NHL in 2022-23. The first major measuring stick for the Golden Knights awaits.

Off the Rush

One of the biggest strengths the Golden Knights have had since year one is their ability to strike off the rush. So far, under Bruce Cassidy, the VGK have done an excellent job at this, with turnovers in the neutral zone paving the way for Golden Knight’s chances. It certainly helps with a fully-healthy Mark Stone.

The Golden Knights play a 1-2-2 through the neutral zone, which has had success not only stopping opposing teams but turning things around the other way.

“We’re a 1-2-2 team, and we have our layers. We are asking out D to receive the rush at the blue line. If you can laterally move and kill it/squash it, great,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Offensive Defenseman

While the Avalanche’s forward group and goaltending taking hits this season due to free agency losses and injuries, their defense is still amazing, as always. The Avs have several weapons that can produce offensively from the blue line, led by Cale Makar, who Cassidy compares to Bobby Orr.

“I think they have been quite open about their style of play with their D not resting. We have got to make sure we kill some of those and take away those passing lanes and don’t get drawn to the puck,” said Cassidy.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Reilly Smith- Jack Eichel- Phil Kessel

Brett Howden- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone (c)

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio

William Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague- Zach Whitecloud

Logan Thompson/Adin Hill

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

PP1: Stone, Eichel, Stephenson, Marchessault, Pietrangelo

PP2: Roy, Karlsson, Smith, Kessel, Theodore

PK1: Roy, Stephenson, McNabb, Pietrangelo

PK2: Karlsson, Stone, Martinez, Whitecloud


Paul Cotter, Jake Leschyshyn, Ben Hutton, Laurent Brossoit

Projected Avalanche Line Combinations

Artturi Lehkonen- Nathan Mackinnon– Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichuskin- JT Compher- Martin Kaut

Andrew Cogliano- Alex Newhook- Evan Rodrigues

Dryden Hunt- Jayson Megna- Logan O’Connor

Bowen Byram- Cale Makar

Sam Girard- Josh Manson

Kurtis MacDermid- Erik Johnson

Alexander Georgiev/Pavel Francouz

Avalanche Special Teams

PP1- Nichushkin, Rantanen, Lehkonen, Mackinnon, Makar

PP2- Rodrigues, Newhook, Compher, Girard, Byram

PK1- Compher, O’Connor, Johnson, Manson

PK2- Megna, Cogliano, Girard, Makar


Gabe Landeskog (c), Darren Helm, Devon Toews, Jacob MacDonald

How to Watch/Listen

7:00 pm on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.