Both teams are struggling of late, though the Knights have played very well in their last few games despite losing back-to-back contests. Winnipeg, meanwhile, is coming off a 7-1 loss to Colorado, so the Jets will be plenty to eager to right the ship tonight in Vegas.
Winnipeg (36-20-4) is second in the Central Division with 76 points, while Vegas (32-25-5) remains locked in as the third seed in the Pacific Division.
Tonight will be the first time the Knights face Connor Hellebuyck since last year’s five-game playoff series, since it was Laurent Brossoit who got the nod and made 41 saves in a 4-1 win for the Jets when these teams met in Winnipeg earlier this season.
The Jets will get winger Nikolaj Ehlers back in the lineup tonight for the first time since Jan. 4. Ehlers has 15 goals and 27 points in 40 games this season, and he will replace Jack Roslovic on the Jets’ second line (Roslovic is set to center the fourth line but will remain on the second power-play unit).
For Vegas, it appears as though Colin Miller will be out of the lineup once again. Nick Holden will skate on the third pairing with Jon Merrill tonight.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pirri — Stastny — Tuch
Pacioretty — Eakin — Lindberg
Nosek — Bellemare — Reaves
Schmidt — Engelland
McNabb — Theodore
Merrill — Holden
Connor (#81) — Scheifele (#55) — Wheeler (#26)
Ehlers (#27) — Little (#18) — Laine (#29)
Perreault (#85) — Lowry (#17) — Tanev (#13)
Copp (#9) — Roslovic (#28) — Appleton (#82)
Morrissey (#44) — Trouba (#8)
Kulikov (#5) — Myers (#57)
Chiarot (#7) — Niku (#83)