Time: 10:00pm ET
Place: T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV
TV: BSDET, ATTSN-RM
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Golden Knights Blog: Knights On Ice
The back and forth, sea-saw season for the Detroit Red Wings continues. After breaking a four-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak Detroit has dropped three of their last four coming…including their last two on the road in Columbus and Dallas…coming into tonight’s game with Vegas. The Red Wings last meet the Golden Knights eleven days ago and came away with the second win in that recent three game win streak, 5-2. The two will meet tonight in Las Vegas tied in points but with Vegas having played two fewer games.
Vegas comes in still struggling with depth issues up front with forwards Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, and Nolan Patrick on IR, William Karlsson out with a broken foot, and potentially without Jonathan Marchessault who was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list earlier this week and missed the Golden Knights loss to Carolina on Tuesday. If Marchessault cannot go tonight Vegas will have two players in the lineup with more than three goals, Evgenii Dadonov and Reilly Smith who both have five. Their depth along the blue line took a hit recently with Alec Martinez missing the last two games with a “nasty cut” and is likely tonight’s game as well. That said, they do still have a top four of Alex Pietrangelo, Nicolas Hague, Brayden McNabb, and Shea Theodore that eats up a ton of minutes and stacks up well against most top four’s in the NHL. In net, Robin Lehner continues to carry the lion’s share of the starts with thirteen and still holds an impressive .917 save percentage. Backing him up, Laurent Brossoit has only seen action in four games, including the 5-2 loss in Detroit, and has played admirably posting a .905 save percentage. Getting Mark Stone back helps but this is still a very shorthanded Vegas team, especially in their top six. Their blue line and goaltending have done a very good job of carrying the team and it can be expected they will only get better as they get more of their top forwards back, so it is a good thing Detroit is getting their last game of the season against the Golden Knights now.
For Detroit, the big story coming into the game is the status of Dylan Larkin. As I am sure everyone knows by now, he was pulled from the game Tuesday in Dallas in the second period due to a positive COVID-19 test and his status for tonight is still unknown at the time of writing. If he is unable to go the lack of center depth with really be on display for a Red Wings team already missing Mitchell Stephens due to injury. If Larkin cannot go it will be interesting to see if Coach Blashill elects to move Pius Suter up from the second line to the top line with Tyler Bertuzzi and Lucas Raymond or if he keeps the surging line with Suter between Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina together and moves one of Joe Veleno or Michael Rasmussen to the top line.