Gameday: Golden Knights look to bounce back against the Coyotes
With just 25 games left in their 2018-19 season, the Vegas Golden Knights find themselves in an interesting position within the Pacific Division. They sit in third place, eight points behind the second place Calgary Flames and nine points ahead of the fourth place Vancouver Canucks. Of the four divisions, this is by far the biggest total gap for a team sitting in third place. While this makes it look like the Golden Knights are destined to finish in third, it’s interesting to note that of the remaining 25 games on the Knights’ schedule, 12 of them come against opponents in the Pacific division, so nothing is set in stone yet.
Tonight they face off against the Arizona Coyotes for the third time this season, who are 13 points behind the Knights although they’ve played two less games. The Golden Knights played both of those games against the Coyotes in their arena, winning 5-1 and 3-2 in a shootout.
Third line? Please? Anyone
The Golden Knights’ third line has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride all season long. Thanks to injuries throughout the lineup from day one, it seems as though players have been switching lines every game, and the third line has been the line to suffer the most. While the three other lines have been consistently solid overall, the third line hasn’t been able to get things going and that’s mainly due to the fact that they continually have different combinations.
Valentin Zykov is a healthy scratch tonight with Brandon Pirri’s return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a stiff neck. With Ryan Carpenter out for an unknown amount of time, tonight will be Oscar Lindberg, Cody Eakin and Pirri hoping to provide some sort of spark. Vegas could certainly use it.
You get an IR spot! You get an IR spot! You get an IR spot!
If you think that the Golden Knights have had bad injury luck this season, you should take a look at what the Coyotes have gone through. They currently have six, yes six, regular starters on their injured reserve. When they suit up against the Golden Knights tonight they will be without Jason Demers, Michael Grabner, Brad Richardson, Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak and goaltender Antti Raanta.
While it’s incredibly impressive that the Coyotes have been able to keep up despite all these injuries, it seems as though they may be running out of gas. They’re coming into Vegas tonight having lost five of their last six games. With William Carrier back, tonight is one of the first games of the year where the Golden Knights have more or less a fully healthy lineup. Ryan Carpenter, Nick Holden and Erik Haula are currently on the IR.
How to watch
Time: 7 p.m. PT
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM
Author: Brandon Maron