Gameday: Golden Knights look to bounce back against Bruins after ugly loss
Tonight’s game kicks off a four-game stint at the Fortress.
The Golden Knights played arguably one of their worst games of the season against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. It was just the second time they’ve been shutout this season.
Today is a new day and that game is in the past, and the Golden Knights will look to hit 70 points in the standings when they take on the Boston Bruins tonight. The Knights’ most recent tilt with the Bruins came on Nov. 11, where Vegas lost, 4-1, despite putting 38 shots on goal.
The Bruins have quietly been one of the league’s hottest teams as of late, with an 8-0-2 record in their past 10 games. They are without their leading goal scorer David Pastrnak (thumb), but still boast the league’s second best power play and allow the second fewest goals per game.
Let’s talk about the playoff hunt for a second
Out of the nine teams in the hunt for the pair of wild card spots in the West, only two teams have a record above .500 over their last 10 games.
The Chicago Blackhawks, who looked like they were gunning for a lottery pick just a month ago, have been on a tear as of late and are just one point out of a wild card spot.
With a massive logjam between the teams below the playoff cut-off, the Golden Knights need to capitalize on their schedule and ensure that they don’t get complacent. Their game against the Bruins tonight is the first of four straight at home, and 12 of their final 21 are at T-Mobile Arena. They still sit a comfortable nine points ahead of both the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes for third place in the Pacific, and have two games against the Canucks and one against the Coyotes left on their schedule.
The Golden Knights are nestled in third place as they sit 10 points behind the San Jose Sharks and 11 behind the Calgary Flames, but have two games against each of them left. Anything is possible at this point, and if the Golden Knights get hot and win crucial games against their division opponents they could still move up in the standings.
The return of Marc-Andre Fleury
Last time the Golden Knights faced the Bruins, Malcolm Subban was given the opportunity to face the team that gave him up in the expansion draft. Subban lost the duel with Jaroslav Halak, and after starting the last two games for the Golden Knights, it’s no surprise that Subban will be benched and Flower will be in net against the B’s tonight.
Despite the ugly 3-0 loss to the Avalanche on Monday, Subban was easily the Golden Knights’ best player and was also phenomenal against the Nashville Predators in his first start in some time. This is a good sign for the Vegas faithful, because down the stretch it is likely that Subban will be called upon more than he has been all season long. The Knights have three back-to-backs before the end of the season, and Fleury will need some rest before the playoffs start. Even after sitting out the last two contests, Fleury still leads the league with 51 games played and 29 wins.
Look out for these two players
David Krejci: Krejci is quietly on pace to have his best statistical season since 2008-09 this year, and he’s been one of the Bruins hottest players as of late. He has two goals and seven assists in his last five games, and has been a big reason why the Bruins have been winning so much recently.
Max Pacioretty: Some questioned Gerard Gallant’s line shuffles against the Nashville Predators last week, but it ended up paying off. Max Pacioretty was placed on the third line alongside Cody Eakin and Oscar Lindberg, and had one of his best games of the season, scoring two goals. Based off of line rushes at practice today, it seems as though Patches will stick with the third line, so let’s see if they can find the magic together again.
How to watch
Time: 7 p.m. PT
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM