This is unfamiliar territory for the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks. The Golden Knights come into Friday night’s game at T-Mobile Arena as losers of two straight in regulation. The Sharks come in as winners of two straight. Can the Sharks carry the momentum of two straight wins into Vegas after starting the season 0-10-1?
The cliches were flowing after Wednesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings. “Adversity doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” Mark Stone after Wednesday’s loss to the Kings. “The hockey gods are testing you. It has been a good test these last couple of games.” Alex Pietrangelo on Wednesday’s loss to the Kings.
About the Golden Knights (11-2-1, 23 points): These are not excuses, but the reality is that the Golden Knights are down 50% of their centers and a key piece of their defense. It does not matter if they are playing the Sharks, Oilers, or Bruins. The Golden Knights will have to dig deep.
Zach Whitecloud expects to make his season debut tonight against the Sharks.
Nic Hague, Chandler Stephenson, and Nic Roy remain out for Friday’s game against the Sharks.
About the Sharks ( 2-10-1, 5 points): It is not often the team lining up across the ice is the one playing with house money. That will be exactly the case Friday night. The Sharks come into Vegas relaxed and full of confidence. While there has been plenty of turnover since the dreaded, “Not a major,” game from 2019, there are many members of both teams that were on their team’s respective rosters for that game. A rivalry still exists between the Sharks and Golden Knights.
Tomas Hertl leads the Sharks with nine points. Rookies William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau are developing nicely. The Golden Knights might catch a bit of a break of MacKenzie Blackwood does not get the start. Kaapo Kahkonen is 0-4-0 with a 4.30 GA/G and .876 SV%.
Golden Knights to watch: Michael Amadio was able to get behind the Kings’ defense and had a few scoring chances in Wednesday’s game. William Karlsson’s outstanding season continues and he has a knack for scoring highlight-reel goals against the Sharks. Hopefully, the Golden Knights do not have trouble scoring against the Sharks. If that happens, it would be nice to see Jack Eichel put the team on his back for a big goal or two.
Key storyline: This is the classic get-right game before the Golden Knights leave for a five-game road trip. Yes, it is the Sharks. But the Golden Knights will not treat this as playing a team at the bottom of the standings. These are important two points and a confidence booster before the team heads east.
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST.
TV: Scripps Sports
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340