The Vegas Golden Knights (24-11-1, 49 points) will return from their Holiday Break Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings (19-12-6, 44 points) on the road at 7:30 p.m. This is the second of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Golden Knights won the first matchup 4-3 on Oct. 11, with Mark Stone scoring with less than a minute left.
The Kings are riding a three-game home winning streak and are just five points behind the VGK in the Pacific Division standings. The Golden Knights continue to be the best team in the NHL on the road with a 14-2-1 record and start a two-game California road trip Tuesday night before playing eight of their next nine games at home.
Given that Jonas Rondbjerg, Pavel Dorofeyev, and Brayden Pachal were re-assigned to the Henderson Silver Knights on Monday, the Golden Knights will likely welcome back some injured players into their lineup.
The VGK are currently without Jack Eichel (lower-body, day-to-day), Paul Cotter (upper-body ,IR), Brett Howden (unknown, LTIR), Jonathan Marchessault (lower-body, day-to-day), Shea Theodore (lower-body, week-to-week), and Zach Whitecloud (lower-body, month-to-month). Eichel, Marchessault, and Theodore could all potentially return Tuesday.
What to Watch For
Anze the GOAT
Kings captain Anze Kopitar currently owns the most points against the Golden Knights all-time with 11 goals, 19 assists, and 30 career points in 26 games against the VGK. The 35-year-old Slovak is on pace for yet another strong season in the NHL with 29 points in 27 games played. Defending well against Kopitar will surely be a key to the game for the Golden Knights.
The VGK could potentially welcome back a few injured players into their lineups, such as Eichel, Theodore, and Marchessault. All three of these players are key members of the Golden Knights lineup, but as always with returning players, you have to be weary when it comes to disrupting team chemistry.
The line of Chandler Stephenson, Michael Amadio, and Mark Stone had a great night on Dec. 23 against the St. Louis Blues, with Amadio scoring three points and Stephenson extending his point streak to seven games.
Through the month of December, the Golden Knight's powerplay has been excellent, operating at 40.6%, going 13/32. This has come without the likes of Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore consistently as well.
It seems as if the VGK has figured out a recipe for success with their powerplay.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Chandler Stephenson- Jack Eichel- Mark Stone (c)
Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault
Michael Amadio- Jake Leschyshyn- Phil Kessel
Will Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Alec Martinez- Daniil Miromanov
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill
Golden Knights Special Teams
PP1: Stephenson, Stone, Eichel, Marchessault, Pietrangelo
PP2: Smith, Karlsson, Kessel, Roy, Theodore
PK1: Karlsson, Smith, Martinez, Pietrangelo
PK2: Stephenson, Stone, McNabb, Hague
Brett Howden, Zach Whitecloud, Paul Cotter/Ben Hutton
Projected Kings Line Combinations
Kevin Fiala- Anze Kopitar (c)- Adrian Kempe
Alex Iafallo- Phillip Danault- Trevor Moore
Viktor Arvidsson- Blake Lizotte- Gabe Vilardi
Brendan Lemieux- Rasmus Kupari- Jaret Anderson-Dolan
Mikey Anderson- Drew Doughty
Sean Durzi- Matt Roy
Sean Walker- Jordan Spence
Jonathan Quick/Pheonix Copley
Kings Special Teams
PP1- Vilardi, Kopitar, Kempe, Doughty, Fiala
PP2- Arvidsson, Danault, Moore, Durzi, Iafallo
PK1- Danault, Moore, Anderson, Doughty
PK2- Kopitar, Lizotte, Walker, Roy
Arthur Kaliyev/Carl Grundstrom, Alex Edler/Austin Wagner, Cal Petersen
How to Watch/Listen
7:30 p.m. on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.