The Vegas Golden Knights take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. An important two points are up for grabs before the Golden Knights travel east for a tough four-game road trip before the All-Star break.
Golden Knights fans will be disappointed not to see Reilly Smith on the ice. Smith sustained an upper-body injury on Jan. 11 and has not played since.
Can the Golden Knights make it three wins in a row for the first time since early December?
The Penguins come into Saturday’s game with 48 points which is good for seventh place in the tough Metro Division. Just 10 points separates the first-place New York Rangers and seventh-place Penguins. The Penguins have no shortage of firepower in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson, Jake Guentzel, and Kris Letang. The only concern about all that firepower is their age. The Penguins’ average age per player is 31.3 years old which is the oldest in the league. The Golden Knights’ average age per player is 29 years old which ranks eleventh oldest in the league per Left Wing Lock.
Tristan Jarry expects to get the start in net and is 12-12-4 with a 2.48 GAA and .916 SV%.
Tonight’s game comes in an odd point in the schedule for the Penguins. The Penguins last played Monday against the Seattle Kraken. Unlike the Rangers, the Penguins have had plenty of time to get acclimated with the three-hour difference in time zones. Having four days off could lead to a slow start for the Penguins. It may take them some time to find their game.
It has taken the Golden Knights some time to find their game this week as well. The Golden Knights went nearly 15 minutes without a shot on goal in the first period of Monday’s game against the Nashville Predators. The Rangers dominated puck possession for large portions of the first period of Thursday’s game. The Golden Knights can have a strong advantage in tonight’s game if they can find their game early in the first period.
Logan Thompson has been playing well over his last five games. Thompson is 4-1 in his last five starts with a .947 SV%.
Mark Stone is refusing to allow the team to use injuries as an excuse. “You got to have that no-excuses mentality, everyone has to play a better version of their game.” Stone after Monday’s victory over the Predators.
Stone led by example on Monday by logging a hat trick.
These next five games could be the most difficult stretch of the regular season for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have 10 players on IR and LTIR and will play four of their next five games on the road. The upcoming road trip is brutal as the team will play two back-to-back games over a six-day stretch. Two points tonight against the Penguins would take some pressure away during the road trip.
How to watch
Time: 7:00 P.M. PST.
TV: Vegas 34
Radio: FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340