The Vegas Golden Knights are playing good hockey.
They’re competing as a team, winning as a team and thriving as a team.
The Knights have won eight straight games and have a chance to set a franchise record in consecutive wins tonight against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
The Knights went 10-2-1 in the month of February and are hopeful March will yield similar results.
They currently hold a four-point lead in the Pacific Division after Edmonton picked up two points in the standings last night with a 3-2 win over Winnipeg.
Tonight will be Alec Martinez’s first game against his former team since the trade.
Originally drafted by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Martinez played parts of 11 seasons with the Kings before getting dealt. He has gotten off to a great start in Vegas, recording six points in five games despite managing just one goal and eight points in 41 games with Los Angeles earlier this season.
Though Vegas has been rolling, there is concern surrounding the severity of Mark Stone‘s lower-body injury. He is now considered week-to-week and will miss his second straight game tonight. However, it appears Tomas Nosek will be in the lineup despite leaving Friday’s game early. Brandon Pirri was recalled from the AHL Chicago Wolves and is set to enter the lineup for the first time since Nov. 11. Pirri recorded one assist in 11 games with Vegas earlier this year.
Marc-Andre Fleury was named as tonight’s starter immediately following Vegas’ 4-2 win against Buffalo the other night. He will look to build on his personal five-game winning streak. He is 3-2-2 against Los Angeles as a member of the Golden Knights and 9-5-4 against the Kings in his career.
It’s possible Calvin Petersen will man the crease at the other end of the rink since Jonathan Quick played yesterday in the Kings’ 2-1 overtime win against New Jersey.
Adrian Kempe scored the game-winning goal, and he’ll look to build on that performance tonight in Vegas. He scored two goals in the Kings’ 5-2 win against the Knights back in January (the same game in which Martinez scored his only goal prior to the trade). Los Angeles has won two of three meetings against Vegas this season.
Despite coming off back-to-back 2-1 wins, the Kings are in last place in the Western Conference and second-to-last place in the league with just 54 points on the year. Los Angeles has gone 5-4-1 in its last 10 games.
Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in most scoring categories, including goals (18), assists (39), points (57), power-play goals (6), power-play points (20), etc. Alex Iafallo is one goal shy of setting a career high (16).
The Kings have the 24th-ranked power play (16.9 percent) and 28th-ranked penalty kill (76.3 percent).
This is Vegas’ final meeting against the Kings this season, and it is one of Vegas’ six remaining home games of the season; the Knights host the Devils on Tuesday before heading out on a five-game road trip.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams (subject to change):
Jonathan Marchessault — Paul Stastny — Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty — William Karlsson — Chandler Stephenson
Brandon Pirri — Nick Cousins — Nicolas Roy
William Carrier — Tomas Nosek — Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb — Nate Schmidt
Alec Martinez — Shea Theodore
Nick Holden — Zach Whitecloud
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Adrian Kempe — Gabriel Vilardi — Martin Frk
Trevor Moore — Blake Lizotte — Trevor Lewis
Nikolai Prokhorkin — Michael Amadio — Austin Wagner
Ben Hutton — Drew Doughty
Mikey Anderson — Matt Roy
Kurtis MacDermid — Sean Walker
How to watch
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM