GAMEDAY THREAD 35/82: Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers
Come chat with us as the Golden Knights take on the Blueshirts.
The Golden Knights are coming off an ugly 5-4 overtime loss to the Devils in which they blew a three-goal lead and allowed four unanswered goals.
But today’s this morning’s matchup against the New York Rangers presents a fresh slate for a Vegas team looking to improve its 8-11-1 road record this season.
Paul Stastny made his long-awaited return to the lineup Friday night, and it’s possible he’ll be able to skate with buddy and fellow offseason addition Max Pacioretty, who (mysteriously) did not play against the Devils. If so, this will be the first time the Knights will be able to ice what was supposed to be the second line of Stastny, Pacioretty and Alex Tuch, as at least one of the three has been injured in every game this season.
Stastny has yet to record a point in a Golden Knights sweater, but he notched two assists in two games against the Rangers last season and has 12 points in 14 career games against the Blueshirts.
If Pacioretty is able to play, that means another middle-six forward will be forced to serve as a healthy scratch. That could be Oscar Lindberg, though he arguably deserves to suit up for this one since he has points in five out of his last six games and will be especially motivated against his former team. He scored a goal when Vegas came to Madison Square Garden on Halloween last season and has filled in admirably on the second and third lines in recent games.
The Rangers recently got Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich back in the lineup; both recorded points in New York’s most recent game, a 4-3 loss to Arizona in which the Rangers (ironically) blew a three-goal lead and lost in overtime after allowing four unanswered goals (sound familiar?).
That makes today’s matchup rather fitting, though both teams need the two points in this one.
Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to make his 13th straight start and should go head-to-head with a familiar foe in Henrik Lundqvist, who is actually having a solid season despite a 10-9-4 record.
Assuming Pacioretty plays, here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pacioretty — Stastny — Tuch
Lindberg — Eakin — Carpenter
Carrier — Bellemare — Nosek
McNabb — Schmidt
Theodore — Holden
Merrill — Miller
Chytil (#72) — Zibanejad (#93) — Zuccarello (#36)
Kreider (#20) — Hayes (#13) — Buchnevich (#89)
Vesey (#26) — Howden (#20) — Namestnikov (#90)
Andersson (#50) — Nieves (#24) — Strome (#16)
Skjei (#76) — Pionk (#44)
McQuaid (#54) — Smith (#42)
Skjei (#76) — DeAngelo (#77)
Will Stastny get his first point as a Knight today?