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Golden Knights Gameday

Golden Knights Gameday 15: Eichel’s Return: Lines and Notes vs Sabres



Vegas Golden Knights Buffalo Sabres AWAY

Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights (12-2-0, 24 points) are in search of a perfect road trip and nine-straight wins Thursday afternoon as they take on the Buffalo Sabres (7-6-0, 14 points) at 4 p.m.

Eichel, who is making his second appearance in KeyBank Center as a visitor, says his history with the Sabres organization, whom he played six seasons for, is water under the bridge.

“That’s all in the past now. I am sure all the guys in that locker room have moved on; same for me. I’m just focused on the present and where we are now. I don’t try and look back too much, “said Eichel.

Eichel was traded to the Golden Knights after a fallout with the Sabres organization, mainly in regard to the treatment of his neck surgery and also the direction the team was heading. In March, Eichel made his first return to Buffalo and was booed by the fans in attendance, prompting him to lash out postgame.

He addressed this interaction after practice Thursday.

“Maybe I was a little surprised last year by the reception. I’m just like anyone else, I’m a human being, and it was emotional for me and probably for them. Maybe I was a little bit hurt, and that is probably why I said the things I said,” Eichel reflected.

What to Watch For

Revenge Game

We all know the story with Eichel returning to play the Sabres. But what about Will Carrier? He’s far from the flashy player that Eichel is, but he has been great this season for the VGK. The fourth-line grinder has four points in his last four games.

He’ll likely start the game for the Golden Knights once more with Keegan Kolesar and Nicolas Roy. This line has produced a lot of offense for the VGK lately, and perhaps Carrier gets on the scoresheet against his former team, which whom he played 41 games with.

“Don’t Forget About Us”

Again, with the focus of this game all on Jack Eichel, two of the players he was traded for, Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, might be brushed to the side a little bit. They were last season in this matchup and promptly scored a goal each as the Sabres won 3-1.

This season Tuch has 11 points in 13 games and Krebs 2 in 11. Look for them to have heightened performances against their former team as well.

Stick to the System

For the Golden Knights, who have their star player under the spotlight in an emotional game and who also have an eight-game winning streak at the steak, they should look to play this game by the books as much as possible.

Stick to head coach Bruce Cassidy’s systems of defense-first and offense off the rush to ensure two points and a joyful plane ride back to Las Vegas.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Chandler Stephenson- Jack Eichel– Mark Stone (c)

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson– Reilly Smith

Michael Amadio- Brett Howden- Phil Kessel

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


Laurent Brossoit/Jake Leschyshyn, Paul Cotter, Ben Hutton

Projected Sabres Line Combinations

Jeff Skinner- Tage Thompson- Vinnie Hinostroza

John Jason Peterka- Dylan Cozens- Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund- Casey Mittelstadt- Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons- Peyton Krebs- Kyle Okposo (c)

Jacob Bryson- Rasmus Dahlin

Kale Clague- Owen Power

Lawrence Pilut- Ilya Lyubushkin

Eric Comrie/Craig Anderson

Sabres Special Teams

PP1- Okposo, Skinner, Tuch, Thompson, Dahlin

PP2- Peterka, Mittelstadt, Cozens, Power, Olofsson

PK1- Cozens, Okposo, Bryson, Fitzgerald

PK2- Girgensons, Tuch, Power, Lyubushkin


Ben Bishop, Riley Sheahan, Henri Jokiharju, Mattias Samuelsson/Jack Quinn

How to Watch/Listen

REMINDER- This is a nationally broadcasted game.

4:00 p.m. on ESPN+, Hulu, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.