Gameday: Golden Knights look to clinch a playoff spot in St. Louis

The Golden Knights have an opportunity to officially clinch a playoff spot on Monday night against the Blues.

Two of the hottest teams in the NHL will meet on Monday night when the Vegas Golden Knights take on the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

The Golden Knights had their four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night when they suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings at T-Mobile Arena. It was only the Golden Knights second loss in their last 12 games, although they did still pick up a point.

Meanwhile, the Blues snapped the Tampa Bay Lightning’s seven-game win-streak with a 4-3 win on Saturday and are now 4-0-1 over their last five games. St. Louis currently sits in third place in the Central Division, but they are only two points back of the Nashville Predators.

Goaltender Jordan Binnington might not be ridiculously hot like he was in February when he posted four shutouts and a .945 save percentage, but he is still playing at an incredibly high-level.

The 25-year-old rookie has posted a 5-2 record this month to go along with a .911 save percentage. Needless to say, the Golden Knights could have a tough time finding twine on Monday.

This game does also have playoff implications for both teams, so let’s break it all down.

Playoff scenarios are upon us

With the Arizona Coyotes losing to the New York Islanders on Sunday, Vegas has a chance to secure a playoff spot. All it takes is one point. As for the Blues, their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now down to three points, thanks to Arizona’s loss on Sunday.

It would take a monumental collapse for either team to miss the playoffs, but I’m sure both squads would like to put the pesky Coyotes behind them once and for while.

Home ice advantage?

The Blues have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL during the second half of the season, but they have been particularly tough at home where they are 11-4 since January 1.

St. Louis is not just beating up on bad teams either. They have home wins against the top teams in the NHL like Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington, Boston and Toronto.

Vegas is 0-2 against St. Louis this year and will look to avoid the season sweep. Although the Golden Knights won the season series last year, the Blues have always played the Golden Knights tough, taking them to overtime twice last season and beating them once.

Can Alex Tuch solidify his spot on the second line?

The Golden Knights’ top line has been red hot recently, but with Max Pacioretty injured there is now an open spot on the second line next to Paul Stastny and Mark Stone.

Alex Tuch took the majority of his shifts on the second line Saturday, but Tomas Nosek and William Carrier did also see a few shifts, too.

With no timetable for Pacioretty’s return, this is a great opportunity for Tuch to find some chemistry on the team’s second line, which would give Gerard Gallant another option in the playoffs should Pacioretty miss an extended period of time, or if Gallant just wants to mix his lines up in the postseason.

How to Watch

Time: 5 p.m. PT

TV: AT&T SportsNet, Fox Sports Midwest

Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM