Preview: Golden Knights wrap up regular season with home-and-home against Kraken

Preview: Golden Knights wrap up regular season with home-and-home against Kraken

The Vegas Golden Knights will host the Seattle Kraken in the first half of a home-and-home to close out the 2022-23 regular season.

The two expansion clubs have already locked up tickets to the second season and could meet each other in the first round.

The Golden Knights have a chance to clinch the club's third Pacific Division title in six seasons tonight. Vegas will clinch the division if the Golden Knights defeat the Kraken in any fashion AND Edmonton loses to Colorado in any fashion OR if Vegas gets one point against Seattle and the Oilers lose to the Avalanche in regulation. In other words, Vegas needs to come away with a one-point advantage at the end of the night.

The Golden Knights are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Dallas and have yet to lose in regulation this month, going 3-0-2. The Golden Knights are 2-0-0 at home this month and 24-15-1 at T-Mobile Arena this season; Seattle is 26-10-4 on the road.

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Vegas is 1-1-0 against Seattle this season and 5-1-0 over the last two seasons. It has been a turnaround season for the Kraken, who finished eighth in the Pacific Division and 30th in the NHL standings last year with just 60 points.

Seattle is 46-26-8 and is currently riding a five-game winning streak. The Kraken defeated the Coyotes 4-1 last night and clinched the franchise's first playoff berth last Thursday in a 4-2 win against Arizona.

Zach Whitecloud will miss tonight's game as well as Thursday's, though Bruce Cassidy is hopeful he will be available next week for the start of the playoffs. Brayden Pachal will suit up in his place on the third pairing.

Paul Cotter will be the odd man out tonight up front as Teddy Blueger returns to the lineup to center the fourth line between Brett Howden and Keegan Kolesar, the two forwards who teamed up with Ben Hutton for Vegas' lone goal in Saturday's loss to the Stars.

Goalie matchup

Laurent Brossoit: Brossoit served as Jonathan Quick's backup Saturday in Dallas but will be back between the pipes tonight in the final home game of the regular season. Brossoit is 5-0-3 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .921 save percentage this season. He has yet to face the Kraken.

Martin Jones: With Philipp Grubauer starting last night against Arizona, Martin Jones likely will get the nod tonight for Seattle in the second half of a back-to-back. Jones is 27-13-3 with a 2.99 goals-against average, .887 save percentage and three shutouts in 42 starts this season. Jones has an all-time record of 3-6-1 with a 3.88 goals-against average and .882 save percentage against the Golden Knights.

Team comparison

Players to watch

Jared McCann: McCann enters tonight's contest on a five-game point streak during which he has recorded five goals and 10 points. He scored his 40th goal of the season last night in Arizona in his third consecutive game with at least a goal and an assist. McCann is having a career season and leads the Kraken in goals and points (70).

Chandler Stephenson: Stephenson and the Golden Knights' third line were stellar last Thursday against the Kings when the line combined for three goals in quick succession in a four-goal opening frame. Vegas' most recent game was tightly-checked and low-scoring, but the new-look third line with Stephenson, Ivan Barbashev and Phil Kessel will have another chance to showcase its chemistry tonight against the Kraken. Stephenson's point streak came to an end in Dallas, but he has two goals and eight points in his last six games and is two points away from tying Jack Eichel for the team lead in scoring with 65 points.

Projected lineups

Golden Knights

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

Alec Martinez – Alex Pietrangelo
Ben Hutton – Nicolas Hague
Brayden McNabb – Brayden Pachal

Laurent Brossoit
Jonathan Quick


Jared McCann – Matty Beniers – Jordan Eberle
Brandon Tanev – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eeli Tolvanen – Yanni Gourde – Jesper Froden
Ryan Donato – Morgan Geekie – Daniel Sprong

Jaycob Megna – Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak – William Borgen
Carson Soucy – Justin Schultz

Martin Jones
Philipp Grubauer

How to watch

Game 81: Golden Knights vs. Kraken
When: 7 p.m. PT
Where: T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM