The Golden Knights kick off their final road trip of 2023. Their first stop is a matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Betting line: STN Sports has the Golden Knights as a plus-110 underdog yet the public believes Vegas will win this one at a 61%/39% split. The over/under is six goals.
Key storyline: Adin Hill left early in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. It is unclear if he has a new injury or re-aggravated an old injury. The Golden Knights called up Jiri Patera in Hill’s absence. Logan Thompson was in obvious discomfort during the third period of Sunday’s victory against the Buffalo Sabres and has appeared in nine of the last 10 games for the Golden Knights.
Keegan Kolesar is unavailable for tonight’s game and potentially the road trip. Jonas Rondbjerg has been called up as an insurance option.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 18, 2023
About the Golden Knights (21-6-5, 47 points): The Golden Knights enter Tuesday’s game 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, first place in the Pacific Division, and have the most points in the NHL. Injuries have not slowed the Golden Knights’ accumulation of points 32 games into the season and the team has been able to rise above injury trouble for the last season and a half under coach Bruce Cassidy. Next man up is a very cliche statement, but it is a reality in Vegas.
Coach Cassidy is mixing things up with Keegan Kolesar not being available for tonight’s game. Pavel Dorofeyev will get a chance on the second line, Brett Howden will center the fourth line, and Nic Roy will move to the wing with William Karlsson and Paul Cotter.
Golden Knights to watch: The top line of Jack Eichel, Ivan Barbashev, and Mark Stone is unstoppable right now. Barbashev has 10 points in his last nine games. Eichel is on a 10 game points streak. Stone has 14 points in his last 10 games. The biggest question is who will step up if the Golden Knights can not get their top line going? Chandler Stephenson has goals in four of his last five games after going 19 games without scoring a goal.
About the Hurricanes (16-12-3, 35 points): The Hurricanes enter Tuesday’s game 3-4-3 in their last 10 games, fourth place in the Metro Division, and have the fourteenth most points in the NHL. Expect the Hurricanes to have their top defensive pair of Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns matched up against the Golden Knights’ top line.
Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with 27 points (12 goals). Andrei Svechnikov has a chance to return tonight.
Pyotr Kochetkov is the likely goaltender for the Hurricanes and enters Tuesday’s game 6-6-2 with a 2.62 GAA and .894 SV%.
Time: 4:00 p.m. PST.
TV: Vegas 34 (Scripps Sports)
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340