The Vegas Golden Knights embark on their first road trip of the 2023-24 season. The first stop is a rematch of last year’s conference quarterfinals against the Winnipeg Jets. The Golden Knights eliminated the Jets in five games after dropping the first game.
About the Golden Knights (4-0-0, 8 points): The Golden Knights pull into Winnipeg on the gravy train with biscuit wheels. The 2022-23 Stanley Cup champs could not have scripted a better start considering their injury troubles.
Brett Howden (suspension) and Will Carrier (injury) returned to Tuesday’s lineup in their defeat of the Dallas Stars. Coach Bruce Cassidy expects Alec Martinez (injury) to return to Thursday’s lineup. Alex Pietrangelo remains out with no timetable for return after taking a puck to the head a week ago against the San Jose Sharks.
*Thursday’s pregame skate was not public. The assumption is Logan Thompson gets the start so he would not go more than a week between starts. Martinez is likely to replace Korczak but unconfirmed.
Golden Knights to watch: Martinez is expected to make his season debut. It is hard to imagine the Golden Knights’ defense getting better after giving up just five goals in the first four games, but Martinez and his shot-blocking ability make any team better. Ivan Barbashev was the odd man out in Tuesday’s victory against the Stars. Barbashev had just 12:47 minutes on the ice and did not play in the overtime. Look for a bounce-back game from Barbashev.
Jets to watch: A Jet we will not be able to watch is former Golden Knight, Nate Schmidt, who will be a healthy scratch for the second time as a Jet. Former Golden Knight Laurent Brossoit will be in the net for the Jets. Mark Scheifele just signed a seven-year, $59.5 million extension and has three goals in the first three games of the season.
Key storyline: Brossoit revenge game! Not really, Brossoit left Vegas on good terms and it will be fun watching him compete against his former teammates.
“The team that ends your season is the team you circle on your calendar. We expect an intense physical game.” Cassidy on tonight’s game.
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST.
TV: Vegas 34 (Scripps Sports)
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340