Preview: Golden Knights at Kings
The Vegas Golden Knights are the reigning Western Conference champions, but they'll need to improve their play if they hope to have a chance to repeat. Vegas looks to end the regular season on a high note when it visits the conference-worst Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
The Golden Knights, who will face the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs, have gone 1-4-2 over their last seven games after dropping a 4-1 decision to Arizona on Thursday in their home finale. Mark Stone scored the lone goal in the setback while Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. "I got to face some shots," the veteran goaltender told reporters. "I made some good saves, but I also allowed some mistakes. Just trying to work my way back." Los Angeles, which is one of two teams yet to hit the 200-goal plateau this season, has lost two of its last three contests after falling 5-2 in Anaheim on Friday.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain (Vegas), FS West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (43-31-7): Stone's goal against the Coyotes was his fifth in 18 games since being acquired from Ottawa but first in his last eight contests. Paul Stastny returned from a two-game absence because of an undisclosed injury Thursday and notched an assist. The 33-year-old center has collected three goals and two assists over his last three contests.
ABOUT THE KINGS (30-41-9): Captain Anze Kopitar needs one goal to tie Dustin Brown for the team lead but has gone eight games without a tally. The 31-year-old Slovenian leads the team with 58 points and has a minus-24 rating after registering a career-high 92 and a plus-21 mark last season. Jeff Carter (12) and Ilya Kovalchuk (14), who have combined for 13 30-goal campaigns in the NHL, have totaled 26 tallies in 2018-19.
1. Golden Knights RW Reilly Smith is one goal away from becoming the sixth member of the team to score at least 20 this season.
2. Los Angeles RW Tyler Toffoli has scored just one goal in his last 25 contests.
3. Vegas RW Max Pacioretty has tallied only twice over his last 14 games.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 3, Kings 1