The Knights will have two more banners raised to the rafters to commemorate the franchise’s remarkable inaugural campaign. Both the Pacific Division Champions and Western Conference Champions banners represent monumental achievement, and the Knights will look to replicate that success in 2018-19 starting tonight.
Injuries will keep forwards Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin out of the lineup, and Nate Schmidt will serve the first game of his 20-game suspension for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
Making their Golden Knights debuts are Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Nick Holden. Erik Haula will skate with the two newcomers on the Knights’ new-look second line with the offseason departures of James Neal and David Perron.
Unsurprisingly, Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net for the Knights; he will face Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott.
Also, just because it’s a new year: Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goalie off the ice for the Golden Knights. He’s your starter against the Flyers tonight. #VegasBorn— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) October 4, 2018
Aside from the new faces, all eyes should be on Vegas’ first-line trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. The three combined for 213 points last season and seemed destined to be linemates.
As incredible as the Golden Knights performed last year, tonight marks the start of a clean slate. There was much to prove on an individual level last year, but now the pressure falls on the team to prove that last season, a 51-win and 109-point campaign, was no fluke.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pacioretty — Stastny — Haula
Tomas Nosek — Oscar Lindberg — Ryan Carpenter
William Carrier — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb — Colin Miller
Shea Theodore — Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill — Holden
Claude Giroux — Sean Couturier — Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom — Nolan Patrick — Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk — Mikhail Vorobyev — Wayne Simmonds
Scott Laughton — Jori Lehtera — Michael Raffl
Ivan Provorov — Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg — Andrew MacDonald
Travis Sanheim — Radko Gudas
And so it begins...
Come discuss the game with us!