The Vegas Golden Knights (3-0-0, 6 points) and Calgary Flames (2-0-0, 4 points) both enter tonight’s game with a perfect record, and when the evening is over there will only be one team that will remain undefeated. Fresh off a convincing victory in Seattle over the Kraken, the Golden Knights are in Calgary tonight for what should be a fiery matchup vs. the presumptive favorite to win the Pacific Division.
Historically the Golden Knights have played well vs. Calgary — they are 10-4 lifetime with a 3-4 record at the Saddledome — but they enter the evening as the underdog by the betting odds. This is the first of four matchups between both teams, and the next contest will take place on February 23rd at T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas is a team that has been shooting early and often, and they are in for a test against a team coached by Darryl Sutter that has a reputation for limiting chances. Thus far Vegas is averaging 39.3 shots per game which is second in the league.
They have allowed 30 against per game which is 13th in the league. Calgary is averaging 34.5 per game, which is ninth best, and have on average allowed 27 against per game, so it will be interesting to see how the two opposing forces counterbalance each other.
With that said, here is a projected lineup for both sides.
Vegas Golden Knights
Reilly Smith — Jack Eichel — Phil Kessel
Brett Howden — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Paul Cotter
Will Carrier — Nicolas Roy — Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague — Zach Whitecloud
Jonathan Huberdeau — Elias Lindholm — Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube — Nazem Kadri — Andrew Mangiapane
Blake Coleman — Mikael Backlund — Trevor Lewis
Milan Lucic — Kevin Rooney — Brett Richie
Mackenzie Weegar — Chris Tanev
Noah Hanifin— Rasmus Andersson
Nikita Zadorov — Michael Stone
This is a bit of a busy stretch for the Golden Knights to start the season, and every opportunity to bank points is important. They are off to a good start, and tonight will be a good early test vs. a tough division rival.
Logan Thompson certainly has another big opportunity ahead of him as he settles into life as the starting goaltender of the Golden Knights, and he’ll look to continue giving the team in front of him a chance to win.
Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the game.