The Vegas Golden Knights (8-2) are hoping to get back on track following a 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night. They'll do so by heading to Madison Square Garden to face the struggling New York Rangers (3-7-2).
The Rangers entered the season with playoff aspirations following their 102-point 2016-17 campaign, but things have not meshed in the early going.
Mika Zibanejad and J.T. Miller have looked good, each managing 10 points in their first 12 games, and Kevin Shattenkirk has been a bit of a mixed bag (nine points but a minus-7 on the season).
Unfortunately not all has been good for the Rangers, as their record would suggest.
Rick Nash has seen his production all but disappear. He has just two goals and an assist in 12 games. Meanwhile, Michael Grabner, who is coming off a 27-goal, 40-point season has just four points.
Though the biggest problem for the Rangers has been in net.
Henrik Lundqvist has just a .900 save percentage in his nine starts this season with a 3.11 goals against average, both of which are well below his career average. While it's early in the year, King Henrik saw his performance drop significantly last season.
Here’s what to watch for tonight.
Will someone please play defense?
It would not be unfair to say that Maxime Lagace wasn't very good in his relief appearance last night. He made seven saves on 11 shots. Basically the standard definition of a bad game.
It would also not be unfair to say the team hung him out to dry last night, either. There were no less than three breakaways allowed by the Golden Knights defense in the third period alone and that just won't cut it with their forth, or possibly fifth string goalie in the net tonight.
It's Shea Theodore's time!
The Golden Knights are in desperate need of defensive help and IS THAT SHEA THEODORE'S MUSIC WE HEAR!?
It's time for the Golden Knights’ top prospect to make his debut in this one. While Brad Hunt and Colin Miller have been fantastic on the power play, adding Theodore to the second unit and getting another smooth skating defender can only help the team push play. Will it solve their defensive issues? No. But, it couldn't hurt, either.
Can Vegas take advantage of a weak opponent?
Yes, the Golden Knights have defensive issues. Yes, they are on their fourth/fifth goalie. But, the Rangers are not playing well and this is a chance for them to pick up two points. The Golden Knights have reacted to adversity remarkably at every turn this season. They need to do so again, only this time as the visiting team.
How to watch
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, MSG
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM
Time: 4 p.m. PT