The Golden Knights take on the Anaheim Ducks tonight at T-Mobile Arena. Ducks goaltender John Gibson was constantly under siege last season as the Ducks gave up an astounding 39.1 shots per game, which was the most in the NHL last season.
About the Golden Knights (2-0-0, 4 points): The Golden Knights will be without Zach Whitecloud, Alec Martinez, Will Carrier, and Brett Howden for the second game in a row. Alex Pietrangelo took a puck off his visor causing a nasty cut on his forehead. Pietrangelo was able to skate off the ice unassisted and went directly down the tunnel for repairs. If Pietrangelo is unable to play, expect Kaedan Korczak to take his place beside Nicolas Hague.
Hague-Pietrangelo / Korczak
Golden Knights to watch: Jack Eichel got the memo. Eichel has nine shot attempts through two games which is exactly what coach Bruce Cassidy wants to see. Paul Cotter is the early hits leader in the NHL with 10 hits. Cotter’s physical game should open up even more scoring chances for Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. Adin Hill was rock solid in his debut Tuesday night and looks to back that up against the Ducks.
Ducks to watch: Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Jaime Drysdale expect to take steps forward from last year. The Ducks added 1,025 games of experience on the blue line in Radko Gudas and Ilya Lyubushkin. That should help Gibson to see less than 39 shots per game. No. 2 overall pick Leo Carlsson is out with a lower-body injury.
Key storyline: The Golden Knights are an overwhelming favorite at -360 in local sportsbooks. Similar to Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks, the Golden Knights need to be patient. The Ducks have a lot of great, young talent who will create scoring chances. Expect to see Vegas getting a lot of odd-man rushes and multiple breakaways as the game progresses.
Which version of Gibson will we see? Gibson can be compared to a pitcher that has a no-hitter working through six innings. Once the pitcher gives up that first hit, the floodgates open. The same can be said about Gibson.
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST.
TV: Vegas 34 (Scripps Sports)
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340