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GAME THREAD (Game 5/82) — Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins

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It won’t be the Fleury-Murray showdown as expected, but it’s still a huge game for Vegas.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden Knights are coming off another disappointing performance as the Capitals handed Vegas a 5-2 loss last night in Washington. With a short turnaround, the Knights find themselves in Pittsburgh tonight to take on the Penguins.

While this may have been a game circled on the calendar ahead of the start of the regular season, neither Matt Murray nor Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start. Murray is out with a concussion, and Fleury played last night. Therefore, it looks like today’s tilt will feature Casey DeSmith and Malcolm Subban, with both goalies making their first start of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Knights and Penguins split the season series last year, with each team claiming a victory on home ice. Both games were decided by one goal, so it’s possible tonight could be another tight one.

However, based on how both teams have defended this year, it could be pretty wide-open. Pittsburgh (1-1-0) surrendered six goals to the Capitals in its season opener and gave up another five against Montreal over the weekend; Vegas (1-3-0) has been outscored 15-7.

As a result of Murray’s injury, the Penguins waived forward Derek Grant in order to accommodate the call-up of third-string netminder Tristan Jarry. Defenseman Juuso Riikola could make his NHL debut tonight as he appears to have the edge over Olli Maatta as the team’s sixth rearguard. Ryan Reaves will return to Pittsburgh for the first time since getting dealt to Vegas.

The Knights’ five-game road trip continues tonight in Pittsburgh. With the potential for Paul Stastny’s injury to keep him out of the lineup for up to a month, Vegas recalled forward Tomas Hyka from the Chicago Wolves; he will replace Oscar Lindberg in the lineup tonight.

That being said, here are the projected lineups for both clubs:

Golden Knights

MarchessaultKarlssonSmith
PaciorettyHaulaNosek
CarpenterEakin — Hyka
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves

McNabbMiller
TheodoreEngelland
MerrillHolden

Subban
Fleury

Penguins

Guentzel (#59) — Crosby (#89) — Hornqvist (#72)
Hagelin (#62) — Malkin (#71) — Kessel (#81)
Simon (#12) — Brassard (#19) — Rust (#17)
Cullen (#7) — Sheahan (#15) — Sprong (#41)

Dumoulin (#8) — Letang (#58)
Johnson (#73) — Schultz (#4)
Oleksiak (#6) — Riikola (#50)

DeSmith (#1)
Jarry (#35)

Come share your thoughts during the game!