Vegas (5-6-1) has not been a game above .500 this season and still won’t be even with a win tonight, but the same can be said for the Blues (3-4-3), who are in last place in the Central Division. That’s why the two points up for grabs this evening are critical for both teams, which should make it quite a duel.
St. Louis is coming off an impressive 7-3 win over Chicago and will look to continue to capitalize on the man advantage; the Blues have 13 power-play goals this season, which is tied with Washington for the most in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Knights will look to right the ship after going four games without a regulation win.
David Perron will face his former team for the first time since signing a four-year contract with St. Louis in the offseason. Perron recorded career highs in assists (50) and points (66) last year with Vegas.
Ryan O’Reilly, who skates on St. Louis’ second line with Perron, leads the Blues in scoring with three goals and 14 points; Perron is second on the team with five goals and 10 points in 10 games, while Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn each have nine points. Jonathan Marchessault leads the Knights with six goals and 12 points, while William Karlsson has nine points on the season.
Gerard Gallant announced that Brad Hunt will replace Jon Merrill in tonight’s lineup. St. Louis’ Carl Gunnarsson will make his season debut, and Robby Fabbri will play his first game since Feb. 4, 2017.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Hyka — Haula — Tuch
Nosek — Eakin — Carpenter
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Miller
Theodore — Engelland
Hunt — Holden
Schwartz (#17) — Schenn (#10) — Tarsenko (#91)
Sanford (#12) — O’Reilly (#90) — Perron (#57)
Maroon (#7) — Bozak (#21) — Steen (#20)
Fabbri (#15) — Thomas (#18) — Sundqvist (#70)
Bouwmeester (#19) — Pietrangelo (#27)
Edmundson (#6) — Parayko (#55)
Dunn (#29) — Gunnarsson (#4)