The Los Angeles Kings, already considered one of the Vegas Golden Knights’ top rivals, are in town for their first ever regular season showdown. Could the Knights put on a show against the division-leading Kings?
Vegas is playing in the T-Mobile Arena, which is a big factor. The Golden Knights have been great at home and are coming in with momentum, hot off a road win in Vancouver. Here are a couple more factors that could help decide the outcome of this clash.
What will Malcolm Subban’s role be?
Subban is back with the Golden Knights after being taken off injured reserve. He’s the first of the three goaltenders on IR to return to the lineup and rejoins the team after one of Max Lagace’s best performances — a rare (at least so far) road win for the Knights.
With Marc-Andre Fleury and Oscar Dansk still on IR, the Knights have to be careful with their healthy goaltenders. But Vegas also wants to use its top (healthy) netminder to get a win against the best team in the Pacific.
So will Subban get the start? If so, his presence would be a huge upgrade for the Knights. However, it also wouldn’t be totally surprising if Lagace is guarding the crease again.
How rusty is the power play?
The power play unit didn’t even take the ice in Thursday’s game against the Canucks. The Knights won anyway, having scored five time at even strength.
The Knights’ last power play goal came against the Winnipeg Jets nine days ago. The Knights didn’t score on the man advantage against the Edmonton Oilers, despite having five opportunities. Since James Neal scored in the second period against the Winnipeg Jets, the Knights are 0-for-6 on the man advantage.
The Kings are one of the top teams in the NHL in penalties taken. The Knights will have opportunities to break their goalless streak on the power play. The question is whether they can, and how they’ll play after two rough road games.