The Golden Knights return home to T-Mobile Arena after suffering two road losses. Vegas sits at 5-7-1, good for seventh place in the Pacific Division.
Interestingly, last night was the first game this season in which Sebastian Aho was held off the scoresheet after the 21-year-old phenom recorded at least a point in the first 12 games of the season. He leads the Hurricanes in scoring with four goals and 13 assists for 17 points, with linemates Micheal Ferland (7-4—1) and Teuvo Teravainen (3-8—11) tied for second with 11.
Tonight’s matchup will feature two of the top-four teams in shots per game, with the Hurricanes first overall in the league with 42.4 and Vegas ranked fourth with 34.2. Despite the shot volume, the Hurricanes are 24th in the league in goals per game (2.92), while the Knights are 30th (2.23). That sets things up for a busy night for both netminders.
Carolina has used three goaltenders this season but likely will turn to Scott Darling this evening, who will make just his second start of the season. He will take on Marc-Andre Fleury, who holds a 17-9-5 all-time record against the Canes; he went 1-0-1 in two games against them last season.
The good news out of Vegas is that Max Pacioretty was back on the ice during today’s morning skate, though he was sporting a no-contact jersey and will not play tonight. However, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for a Knights team that would love to get the perennial 30-goal scorer back in the lineup.
Carolina changed up its lines during last night’s contest, and the in-game adjustments paid off. One would assume those changes will be intact tonight, at least to start the game.
On that note, here are tonight’s projected lineups:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Hyka — Haula — Tuch
Nosek — Eakin — Carpenter
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Miller
Theodore — Engelland
Holden — Hunt
Ferland (#79) — Aho (#20) — Svechnikov (#37)
McGinn (#23) — (A) Staal (#11) — (C) Williams (#14)
Martinook (#48) — Wallmark (#71) — Teravainen (#86)
Foegele (#13) — Roy (#58) — Zykov (#73)
Slavin (#74) — Hamilton (#19)
de Haan (#44) — (A) Faulk (#27)
van Riemsdyk (#57) — Pesce (#22)