Months ago, many anticipated that tonight’s game would be particularly meaningful. After all, it would have been Erik Karlsson’s first game against his former team. While Karlsson made it to the Pacific Division, he clearly did not make his way to Vegas, but that doesn’t mean today’s game isn’t a critical one for the Golden Knights.
That’s because the Knights are coming off two straight losses on home ice and sit seventh in the division with a 4-5-1 record through 10 games. The standings are tight, and it’s still very early on in the season, but the Knights need to right the ship and correct some of the cracks that have surfaced in their game.
That will be difficult to do without Max Pacioretty, who is unlikely to play tonight. He was forced out of Friday’s game after taking a high hit from Braydon Coburn, and while he’s been labeled as “day-to-day,” there are still concerns about his availability moving forward.
Tomas Hyka will draw back into the lineup to take Pacioretty’s spot on the second line.
The Senators are coming off a 6-3 loss to Colorado and are missing several players, including Zack Smith, who suffered a facial fracture Friday in Denver. Ottawa has been much more productive than anyone could have expected, and the Senators currently hold a 4-4-1 record.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Hyka — Haula — Tuch
Lindberg — Eakin — Carpenter
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Miller
Theodore — Engelland
Merrill — Holden
Dzingel (#18) — Duchene (#95) — Stone (#61)
Boedker (#89) — Tierney (#71) — Ryan (#9)
Formenton (#59) — White (#36) — Paajarvi (#56)
McCormick (#17) — Pyatt (#10) — Rodewald (#53)
Chabot (#72) — DeMelo (#2)
Lajoie (#58) — Ceci (#5)
Borowiecki (#74) — Jaros (#83)