Preview: Golden Knights Back in Action Against Expansion Rival Kraken
The Vegas Golden Knights (16-4-1, 33 points) take on their expansion rival the Seattle Kraken (11-5-3, 25 points) for the second time this season, and what will be for the last time until April. Vegas has won their last two in a row after hitting a bit of a mini-skid following a 9-game winning streak, and Seattle has won 3 in a row, and are 8-1-1 over their last 10 played.
Earlier this year the Golden Knights made light work of the Kraken in a 5-2 victory, but tonight’s game should be a little bit closer in nature. The Kraken are enjoying a bounce back performance in goal thus far from Martin Jones, but offensively they have been a force with some pretty balanced scoring.
The Golden Knights are led up front by Jack Eichel (26 points in 19 games), but have a very solid supporting cast which has them scoring 3.67 goals per game (5th-best in NHL), and only surrendering 2.48 goals against per game (3rd-best in NHL).
Seattle currently sits 8th in the league with a 3.47 goals per game average, and 11th with a 2.84 goals against average. In terms of special teams, their power play is clicking at 23.1% which is slightly better than Vegas’ performance of 21.0%. Both teams are in the bottom of the league when it comes to killing penalties, with Vegas coming ahead with a 76% rating to the Kraken’s 73.8%.
After tonight the two teams won’t square off again until a back-to-back series in April to be played on the 11th and the 13th, and a lot will likely change for both squads between now and then.
Leading Scorer: Andre Burakovsky — 5-13-18 in 19GP
Top Goal Scorer: Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann — 14 goals
Best Goalie: Martin Jones — 10-4-2, .906 SV%, 2.49 GAA
Vegas Golden Knights
Leading Scorer: Jack Eichel — 11-15-26 in 21GP
Top Goal Scorer: Jack Eichel — 11 goals
Best Goalie: Logan Thompson —11-3-0, .925 SV%, 2.30 GAA
With those out of the way, here is a projected lineup for both sides.
Chandler Stephenson — Jack Eichel — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Paul Cotter — Mike Amadio— Phil Kessel
Will Carrier — Brett Howden — Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague — Zach Whitecloud
Jaden Schwartz — Alex Wennberg — Andre Burakovsky
Jared McCann — Matty Beniers — Jordan Eberle
Brandon Tanev — Yanni Gourde — Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Donato — Morgan Geekie — Daniel Sprong
Adam Larsson — Vince Dunn
Jamie Oleksiak — Justin Schultz
Carson Soucy — William Borgen
Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the game.