The Golden Knights host the Kings for the fourth time in three weeks as they usher in the new year. Vegas is coming off a convincing 5-1 win against the Coyotes, which followed a 4-1 road victory against the Kings for Malcolm Subban’s first win of the season.
The Knights (23-15-4) are currently in second place in the Pacific Division after leapfrogging the Sharks (with a little help from the Flames, who defeated San Jose last night by a score of 8-5).
Considering where things were a little over a month ago, it’s remarkable that the Knights are in third place in the entire Western Conference with 50 points.
The Kings (16-21-3) have moved up to 29th place in the overall league standings after winning five of their last six games, including last night’s tilt against the Avalanche (a 3-2 overtime win). Since Jonathan Quick started last night, there’s a chance he won’t be the Kings’ starter in today’s matchup. The Kings recently reassigned Cal Petersen and recalled Jack Campbell, who could get the nod instead.
Paul Stastny enters tonight’s game with five points during his last current three-game point streak, and Brandon Pirri has seven points (five goals, two assists) in six games. That being said, he’s managed just one assist in two games against the Kings this season.
For Vegas, tonight is the first of 10 games leading up to the All-Star Break and one of three games against division opponents in that stretch.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pirri — Stastny — Tuch
Lindberg — Eakin — Carpenter
Carrier — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Schmidt
Theodore — Engelland
Merrill — Holden
Iafallo (#19) — Kopitar (#11) — Brown (#23)
Kovalchuk (#17) — Carter (#77) — Toffoli (#73)
Leipsic (#14) — Kempe (#9) — Luff (#64)
Wagner (#51) — Thompson (#44) — Clifford (#13)
Forbort (#24) — Doughty (#9)
Muzzin (#6) — Walker (#61)
Phaneuf (#3) — Fantenberg (#7)