Jack Eichel will be a game-time decision Friday night as the Vegas Golden Knights (19-8-1, 39 points) take on the Philadelphia Flyers (9-13-5, 23 points) at T-Mobile Arena at 7:00 p.m. The VGK will be wearing their reverse retro jerseys for the second time this season. Alex Pietrangelo remains out indefinitely due to personal reasons.
Eichel is day-to-day with a lower-body injury that he sustained against the Detroit Red Wings. He has missed two games.
After taking a maintenance day Thursday, captain Mark Stone practiced with the team Friday morning and is expected to play. Stone was cross-checked from behind by Ryan Lindgren and also got hit with a puck in the VGK's 5-1 loss to the Rangers.
The Golden Knights are in danger of dropping to a .500 record at home this season. They are 7-6 at T-Mobile Arena this season.
"Sometimes it is just the way it goes. Maybe after Christmas, it might just switch you never know. It is just one of those things that it doesn't matter if we play at home, or away I think we are professional hockey players, and we have to find a way to bring out the best performance," said Jonathan Marchessault regarding the team's home ice record.
This is the first of two matchups against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. The next will be in Philly on March 14th. The Golden Knights are 3-5-0 against the Flyers all-time. Jack Eichel has 15 points in 16 games against the Flyers in his career.
What to Watch For
A major factor that has made the Golden Knights so successful on the road this season is their ability to come out early with a lead. The Golden Knights opened the scoring in every one of their games on their most recent four-game road trip.
This dramatically shifts the pace of the game, giving the VGK a bit of a cushion and having them prepared to expect a bounce-back from the opposition. At home, things have been different as the VGK are not scoring first, leading to them chasing the game.
"On the road, we have got the lead almost all the time. And that's a difference right there. You're playing a different game, and the team starts pressing. They're at home, and all of a sudden, you extend the lead. Our game management is better on the road," said head coach Bruce Cassidy.
We wrote yesterday about the lack of depth in the Golden Knights organization at forward. Guys like Phil Kessel, Jake Leschyshyn, Michael Amadio, and Jonas Rondbjerg are not being trusted by head coach Bruce Cassidy.
If Jack Eichel can return, this allows Paul Cotter to slot back into the bottom six and slightly helps this issue. But these glue guys need to step it up and remove themselves as passengers on the Golden Knights roster. If not, they will likely find themselves sitting on the bench in the third period if the game is close.
ENG Not Allowed
The other night against the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin scored two empty-net goals against the Flyers to move within 99 goals of Wayne Gretzky's goal record. Travis Konecny was upset that Ovechkin scored as he thought Ovi made one too many moves on the way to the empty net and was showing off.
“I mean, it might have not looked as bad. I personally thought he deked it and put it on his backhand. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought," said Konecny.
Travis Konecny wasn't happy with how Alex Ovechkin scored his second empty-net goal 😳 pic.twitter.com/RFF1UssBZ8
— Ryan Quigley (@ryanquigz) December 8, 2022
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Paul Cotter- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone (c)
Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault
Jonas Rondbjerg- Nicolas Roy- Phil Kessel
William Carrier- Jake Leschyshyn- Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez- Zach Whitecloud
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague- Daniil Miromanov
Adin Hill/Logan Thompson
Golden Knights Special Teams
PP1: Stone, Smith, Stephenson, Marchessault, Theodore
PP2: Roy, Karlsson, Carrier, Kessel, Miromanov
PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Martinez
PK2: Stephenson, Stone, Hague, Whitecloud
Alex Pietragelo/Jack Eichel, Brett Howden/Ben Hutton, Michael Amadio
Projected Flyers Line Combinations
Noah Cates- Kevin Hayes- Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton- Lukas Sedlak- Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk- Morgan Frost- Owen Tippett
Nicolas Deslauriers- Patrick Brown- Zack Macewen
Ivan Provorov- Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim- Justin Braun
Nick Seeler- Cam York
Carter Hart/Felix Sandstrom
Flyers Special Teams
PP1- Cates, Frost, Konecny, DeAngelo, Hayes
PP2- JVR, Laughton, Farabee, Tippett, Provorov
PK1- Laughton, Konecny, Provorov
PK2- Sedlak, Cates, Sanheim, Braun
Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson, Wade Allison, Bobby Brink, Tanner Laczynski/Tony DeAngelo, Max Willman, Kieffer Bellows
How to Watch/Listen
7:00 p.m. on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.