Preview: Golden Knights take on Predators in second half of back-to-back

The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off a thrilling 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild and will look for their third straight win when they take on the Predators tonight in Nashville.

The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off a thrilling 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild and will look for their third straight win when they take on the Predators tonight in Nashville.

Golden Knights complete 4-3 comeback win in shootout, sweep season series against Wild
The Vegas Golden Knights rallied with a late goal in the final minute of regulation before collecting the extra point in a 4-3 shootout victory against the Minnesota Wild Monday night at Xcel Energy Center.

The Golden Knights were down 3-2 in the third period but ultimately forced overtime thanks to Pavel Dorofeyev's heroic last-minute goal. Vegas went on to win in the shootout, getting goals from Jack Eichel, Dorofeyev and Reilly Smith, who returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an injury March 23.

It was another game in which the Golden Knights got scoring from depth players, as Keegan Kolesar and Dorofeyev accounted for all three of Vegas' regulation tallies. However, Eichel made a phenomenal play to set up the game-tying goal in the third before going on to score in the shootout.

It was the Golden Knights' league-best 11th third-period comeback of the season.

Dorofeyev was the star of the game, scoring two goals and adding a shootout tally for good measure. The 22-year-old has seven goals and nine points in 10 games since returning to the lineup in early March. He served as a healthy scratch Saturday against the Wild but delivered a statement performance Monday night, once again making a compelling case for his inclusion in the lineup on a nightly basis.

Dorofeyev has developed excellent chemistry with Smith and William Karlsson on the club's second line. The first line, however, had a rough outing, with the trio of Eichel, Ivan Barbashev and Jonathan Marchessault combining for a 31.58 percent Corsi share in 11:22.

One thing to look for in tonight's matchup is how that line responds, as the Golden Knights have just five games with which to iron out any wrinkles and prepare for a postseason run.

At this point, the Golden Knights are finding ways to win, but the postseason is a different game entirely. The power play continues to struggle, and though the team's third-period opportunity in Minnesota looked more promising than most, Vegas has gone 0-for-5 in its last two games and has scored just once in its last 11 attempts. That's something that somehow needs to improve over the course of the next two weeks.

The Predators are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Nashville is without its top three scorers in Roman Josi (59 points), Matt Duchene (56 points) and Filip Forsberg (42 points). Plus, the club traded several pieces at the deadline.

However, the current group has been competitive and is still fighting to preserve its chances of reaching the second season. The Predators (84 points) are five points out of the second wildcard seed with a game in hand over Winnipeg (89 points) and Calgary (87 points).

Former Golden Knights forward Cody Glass has had an elevated role this season and currently is centering the Predators' top line in the wake of the plethora of injuries. Among active players, Glass is second on the team in scoring behind only Tommy Novak, who has 38 points in 45 games (compared to Glass' 31 in 66).

The Golden Knights have won both previous meetings against Nashville this season, scoring five goals in each contest. Vegas is 9-5-0 in the all-time series.

Goalie matchup

Jonathan Quick: Quick was pulled in his last start after surrendering six goals on 34 shots against the Oilers in Vegas' 7-4 loss to Edmonton last week. Quick is 5-2-0 with 3.53 goals-against average, .896 save percentage and one shutout in eight appearances for the Golden Knights this season. His best game was a 33-save shutout against the Carolina Hurricanes, but he has struggled in several other games and has given up at least three goals in every other start. He gave up three goals on 25 shots against the Predators earlier this season as a member of the Kings, and he has an all-time record of 6-14-2 against Nashville.

Kevin Lankinen: Since Juuse Saros started last night against the Stars, expect Lankinen to get the nod tonight for the home team. Lankinen is 1-0-2 all-time against the Golden Knights; he gave up five goals on 32 shots when he faced the Golden Knights earlier this season. Lankinen is 8-7-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 16 starts this year and has lost each of his last two starts, one of which lasted only 9:09 after he gave up four goals on five shots against the Rangers.

Team comparison

Players to watch

Nashville: Glass has three goals and four points in his last five games and will be eager to light the lamp against his former team. That being said, Novak has been extremely productive this season with 37 points in 45 games and is just one game removed from a four-point effort (1-3–4) against the Blues.

Vegas: It's difficult to go with anyone other than Dorofeyev considering his extraordinary game last night and his stellar play this season. Dorofeyev has made his presence felt in his recent 10-game stint with the Golden Knights, recording three multi-point efforts and scoring seven goals and one assist. He is making it virtually impossible for Bruce Cassidy to keep him out of the lineup, and he gives the Golden Knights a much more dynamic offense with his skill set.

Projected lineups

Golden Knights

Ivan Barbashev – Jack Eichel – Jonathan Marchessault
Reilly Smith – William Karlsson – Pavel Dorofeyev
Brett Howden – Nicolas Roy – Phil Kessel
Michael Amadio – Teddy Blueger – Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez – Alex Pietrangelo
Ben Hutton – Nicolas Hague
Brayden McNabb – Zach Whitecloud

Jonathan Quick
Laurent Brossoit


Egor Afanasyev – Cody Glass – Philip Tomasino
Kiefer Sherwood – Tommy Novak – Luke Evangelista
Yakov Trenin – Colton Sissons – John Leonard
Rasmus Asplund – Mark Jankowski – Michael McCarron

Ryan McDonagh – Dante Fabbro
Spencer Stastney – Tyson Barrie
Kevin Gravel – Cal Foote

Kevin Lankinen
Juuse Saros

How to watch

Game 78: Golden Knights vs. Predators
When:  5 p.m. PT
Where: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM

Remaining regular-season games

April 6 vs. Los Angeles
April 8 at Dallas
April 11 vs. Seattle
April 13 at Seattle