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Golden Knights Gameday

Golden Knights Gameday 32: Win in Windy City: Lines and Notes vs Blackhawks

The Vegas Golden Knights (21-9-1, 43 points) will play their final road game before Christmas with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks…



The Vegas Golden Knights (21-9-1, 43 points) will play their final road game before Christmas with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks (7-16-4, 18 points) Thursday afternoon. This is the second of three matchups between these two teams this season. The Golden Knights defeated the Blackhawks 1-0 in their second game of the season and home-opener at T-Mobile Arena.

Logan Thompson, who had a shutout in that game, is expected to start for the Golden Knights. Arvid Soderblom will start for the Blackhawks. No other lineup changes are expected for the VGK as injuries have arisen lately. Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Zach Whitecloud, Jack Eichel, and Brett Howden are all unavailable to the team.

The Blackhawks are having a rough season and sit at the bottom of the Central Division standings. They are coming off a 7-3 loss to the Washington Capitals where Alex Ovechkin scored a hat-trick for his 800th-career NHL goal.

What to Watch For

Stars Step Up

With the injuries to some of their top players, the Golden Knights have seen their remaining star players up their game. Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals in the VGK's most recent win against the Winnipeg Jets to pass Eichel for the team lead in goals (14). Mark Stone also had a two-goal night and reached 500-career NHL points. And arbuably the most underrated player in the league, Chandler Stephenson had four assists.

With Eichel out day-to-day, Theodore week-to-week, Whitecloud month-to-month, and Pietrangelo indefinitely this will need to continue. 

"When you're that young in the back end, the compensation has to come from the forward group. That's an older group. They have to manage pucks better and not stress out D in different ways,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. 

Buying From Blackhawks

The Blackhawks look primed to enter a full-blown rebuild with both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews' contracts expiring this offseason. They have a lot of pieces on their roster that could be shipped out at the trade deadline, some of which the VGK could be interested in.

The Golden Knight's won't have enough cap space to add either Toews or Kane. But both Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou make $3 million and are pending unrestricted free agents. Domi has 20 points in 27 games and Athanasiou nine in 26.

Strong and Structured

Without half of their defense and their leading point scorer, the Golden Knights will have to adjust to playing more back-and-fourth games like the one they had the other night against the Jets. The best thing the VGK can do to prepare for games like this is to remain structure and play a simple game of hockey, especially on the road. Nobody on the team can replace Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore, or Alex Pietrangelo. So the team will have to do it as a unit.

“You don’t want to change your game. None of us are Theodore or Pietrangelo so we have go to play our game. We trust our D-core. They are good players. We’ll be okay,” said Golden Knights defensemen Brayden McNabb.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Paul Cotter- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone (c)

Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault

Michael Amadio- Jake Leschyshyn- Phil Kessel

William Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez- Nicolas Hague

Brayden McNabb- Daniil Miromanov

Ben Hutton- Brayden Pachal

Logan Thompson/Adin Hill

Golden Knights Special Teams

PP1: Cotter, Stephenson, Stone, Marchessault, Miromanov

PP2: Smith, Karlsson, Kessel, Roy, Hutton

PK1: Karlsson, Smith, Martinez, Hague

PK2: Stephenson, Stone, McNabb, Hutton


Alex Pietrangelo/Zach Whitecloud, Brett Howden, Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore/Jonas Rondbjerg, Kaedan Korczak

Projected Blackhawks Line Combinations

Sam Lafferty- Max Domi- Patrick Kane

Philipp Kurashev- Jonathan Toews- Taylor Raddysh

Andreas Athanasiou- Jason Dickinson- Tyler Johnson

Colin Blackwell- Jujhar Khaira- Mackenzie Entwistle

Jake McCabe- Seth Jones

Jarred Tinordi- Connor Murphy

Jack Johnson- Caleb Jones

Arvid Soderblom/Petr Mrazek

Blackhawks Special Teams

PP1- Raddysh, Toews, Domi, S. Jones, Kane

PP2- Athanasiou, Johnson, Kurashev, C. Jones, Entwistle

PK1- Dickinson, Khaira, Tinordi, Murphy

PK2- Toews, T. Johnson, McCabe, J. Johnson


Alex Stalock, Jalen Luypen/Boris Katchouk, Reese Johnson, Ian Mitchell, Brett Connolly, Henrik Borgstrom

How to Watch/Listen

5:30 p.m. on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.