Last season the Vegas Golden Knights shocked the hockey world when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals. After all, expansion teams are supposed to languish and suffer, not getting success immediately. You know, like the rest of the expansion teams had to do.
The shine has come off a little bit this season.
After starting the season with inconsistent results, the Golden Knights finally found a stride at the end of November, stringing together five wins in a row. The Los Angeles Kings ended their ability to start another win streak after Vegas had won two in a row, exacting some Stanley Cup revenge on the Washington Capitals and beating the now-league worst Chicago Blackhawks earlier this week.
The recent wins have allowed Vegas to climb back right into the thick of things in the standings. They find themselves just two points out of second in the weaker Pacific Division. They’re also just one point out of being completely out of the playoff picture altogether.
The West, as per usual, is a grind.
One thing that has continued this season for Vegas is their dominance on home ice. Sporting a 9-3-1 mark, the Golden Knights are one of the best teams at home. Their fanbase is new but passionate, contributing to their home ice advantage.
Dallas will need to avoid the kind of start that comes from the ‘Vegas flu’, the sluggishness that results from staying out at the casino too late the night before the game. With the day off tomorrow, hopefully they saved that for after the game.
Dallas Stars Lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexader Radulov
Devin Shore - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Jason Dickinson - Martin Hanzal - Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell - Miro Heiskanen
Gavin Bayreuther - Roman Polak
Joel Hanley - Taylor Fedun
Ben Bishop gets the start in net. Martin Hanzal has some soreness after playing his first game in 10 months. He will draw into the lineup on the fourth line tonight, where head coach Jim Montgomery should be able to control and limit his minutes tonight.
Vegas Golden Knights
This is the lineup Vegas rolled last night. With a game again tonight, it is not likely they will have a morning skate, so any changes to their lineup probably won’t be known until media availability prior to puck drop.
Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty - Cody Eakin - Alex Tuch
Tomas Nosek - Ryan Carpenter - Oscar Lindberg
William Carrier - Marc-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb - Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore - Deryk Engelland
Nick Holden - Colin Miller
Malcom Subban is the expected starter with Marc-Andre Fleury in net last night in the 5-1 loss to the Kings.