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Preview: Iron Man Phil Kessel and Golden Knights Head to San Jose to Skate with the Sharks

Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights (5-2-0, 10 points) head to San Jose to take on the Sharks (2-6-0, 4 points) in the second game of a back to back, but all eyes are on Phil Kessel as he is set to become the NHL’s sole leader in consecutive games played. Kessel skated in his 989th consecutive contest, and there’s something fitting about Game 990 taking place in San Jose. Last season San Jose Sharks legend Patrick Marleau overtook Gordie Howe to become the league’s all-time leader in total games played, and that in my opinion makes San Jose a perfect spot to recognize another achievement of fortitude and career longevity.

Vegas has scored 24 goals, has allowed 14 against, and sit 10th in the NHL with a .714 winning percentage. San Jose has scored 15 goals, allowed 23 against, and sits 28th in the league with a .250 winning percentage.

Tonight’s matchup is the first of four games the two sides will play against each other, and the next encounter will take place at The Fortress on November 15th.

The Golden Knights are on the road in the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Monday, and they need to come out of the game strong. It may be easy to overlook a team like the Sharks based on their record, but they recently picked up their first win of the season vs. a pretty talented New York Rangers squad that had Igor Shesterkin in goal.

The Sharks have a handful of players who could potentially give the team fits, and here’s a quick statistical look at the two sides.

With those numbers out of the way, here is a projected lineup for both sides.

Vegas Golden Knights

Chandler Stephenson — Jack Eichel — Mark Stone

Reilly Smith — William Karlsson — Jonathan Marchessault

Mike Amadio— Brett Howden — Phil Kessel

Will Carrier — Nicolas Roy — Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague — Zach Whitecloud

Adin Hill

San Jose Sharks

Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Alexander Barbanov

Noah Gregor — Logan Couture — Luke Kunin

Evgeny Svechnikov — Nico Sturm — Kevin Labanc

Oskar Lindblom — Steven Lorentz — Matt Nieto

Jaycob Megna — Erik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Matt Benning

Mario Ferraro — Radim Simek

James Reimer

The Golden Knights have only a couple of games left this month, and every opportunity to bank points is important. They are off to a good start, and tonight is a great chance to grab two more points.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the game.