The Vegas Golden Knights (29-17-2, 60 points) will start their annual New York trip Tuesday afternoon in a game against the New Jersey Devils (30-12-4, 64 points) at 4:30 p.m. The Golden Knights have lost three of their last four games and are now just one point ahead of the Seattle Kraken for first in the Pacific Division standings. The Devils, who seem to be taking a step forwards this season, are second in the Metropolitian Division.
This is the first of two matchups between these two teams this season. The Golden Knights are 5-3-0 against the Devils all-time.
Both Brett Howden and Shea Theodore skated with the VGK in their morning practice at Prudential Center. Howden was in a full-contact jersey and could play tonight as a result, Theodore was in a red no-contact jersey. Due to a lower-body injury, Howden has missed the last 26 games.
What to Watch For
Ignore ARZ, Remember WSH
The Golden Knights will try and avoid the "one step forward, to steps back" montra as after they seemingly turned things around with a strong 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals, they lost to the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Sunday. The message in the locker room is simple. Forget about the Arizona game and build off what was successful in the Washington game.
"Everything that we did against Washington that needs to be our mindset for the full game because every team in this league is too good and every night in this league is a challenge. Washington is a good team, we played them hard and we drew it up that way and it worked. So for us it is getting that mindset," said Golden Knights defensemen Alex Pietrangelo.
Assuming he plays, Golden Knights forward Brett Howden will play his first game since Nov. 25th. The 24-year-old has three points in 21 games this season and could be a valuable depth addition to the Golden Knight's struggling offense.
"I'm super excited, it feels like it has been a really long time, well, I guess it has been. I am just really excited to be back with the guys on the road and get back in the lineup… When you are injured you are really disconnected and not really on the same schedule," said Howden.
As if it needed to be said again, the New Jersey Devils are for real this season and have finally taken the jump into a playoff team that many had expected them to do over the last few seasons. Led by two former no. 1 overall picks in Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, the Devils will likely be a playoff team.
They are 7-1-2 in the month of Janurary and are on a seven-game point streak. They already have more wins than they had last season in 39 less games played. They are finally fun to watch again. Expect a tough matchup against one of the league's best young and up-and-coming teams.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Chandler Stephenson- Jack Eichel- Michael Amadio
Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Jonathan Marchessault
Jonas Rondbjerg- Brett Howden- Phil Kessel
Paul Cotter- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Kaedan Korczak
Alec Martinez- Ben Hutton
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill
Golden Knights Special Teams
PP1: Stephenson, Marchessault, Smith, Eichel, Pietrangelo
PP2: Cotter, Karlsson, Kessel, Roy, Hutton
PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Stephenson, Roy, Hague, Hutton
Shea Weber, Nolan Patrick, Robin Lehner/Mark Stone (c), Will Carrier, Pavel Dorofeyev, Shea Theodore, Zach Whitecloud, Daniil Miromanov
Projected Devils Line Combinations
Ondrej Palat- Nico Hischier- Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula- Jack Hughes- Tomas Tatar
Jesper Boqvist- Michael McLeod- Dawson Mercer
Miles Wood- Yegor Sharangovich- Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler- Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves- Damon Severson
Kevin Bahl- Brendan Smith
Vitek Vanecek/Mackenzie Blackwood
Devils Special Teams
PP1- Hughes, Hischier, Bratt, Hamilton, Severson
PP2- Wood, Haula, Palat, Mercer, Siegenthaler
PK1- McLeod, Sharangovich, Bahl, Siegenthaler
PK2- Mercer, Haula, Graves, Smith
Jonathan Bernier, John Marino/Alexander Holtz, Fabian Zetterlund, Nikita Okhotiuk, Andreas Johnsson
How to Watch/Listen
4:30 p.m. on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.