Preview: Jets at Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights look to rebound after giving up at least five goals for the third time in the last five games when they host the inconsistent Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night. The Golden Knights led by two Thursday before coughing up a pair of goals in the final 6:27 of regulation and dropping a 5-4 decision in overtime against Montreal.
The two late goals that tied the game came off lucky bounces, but Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s on us. The willingness to close out the game. We didn’t have that in the third period. There’s no excuses for our group. It’s not acceptable.” The Golden Knights have given up 30 goals in their six losses and 11 in eight victories as they prepare to take on the Jets, who won two of the three meetings last season while splitting a pair of contests in Vegas. Winnipeg looks to build off a fortunate victory Friday as Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves and the Jets used just 19 shots to record a 3-2 victory at San Jose after starting their three-game road trip with a 7-4 loss at Anaheim. Speedy left wing Nikolaj Ehlers registered the winning goal with 1:24 remaining Friday and has scored four times while setting up two others in the past four contests to share the team lead with Mark Scheifele at 14 points.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CITY, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 360 (Winnipeg), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Vegas)
ABOUT THE JETS (7-7-0): Captain Blake Wheeler has scored in two straight games to push his total to five - second on the team - and fellow forward Kyle Connor recorded four of his eight points in the last four contests. Center Bryan Little had an assist against San Jose and boasts five points in five games since returning from a concussion sustained in the preseason while forward Gabriel Bourque registered his first goal of 2019-20. Hellebuyck notched his sixth victory Friday, but the workload likely means backup Lauren Brossoit (1-2-0, .852 save percentage) will be in net against the Golden Knights.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (8-5-1): Right wing Mark Stone owns two of his team-high eight goals in the last two games and leads the team with 17 points while center William Karlsson (12 points) has scored in three straight contests. Defenseman Nate Schmidt had an assist Thursday after missing the previous 12 games with a lower-body injury and right wing Alex Tuch (undisclosed) scored in his season debut. “He opens up a lot of the ice,” center Cody Eakin told reporters of Tuch. “He’s just flying out there. He’s pushing (defensemen) back. It allows everyone to play a little bit faster. … be a little more aggressive.”
1. Winnipeg RW Patrik Laine (13 points) is questionable after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury.
2. Vegas LW Max Pacioretty scored his 500th career point Thursday with his 250th assist.
3. The Jets are 1-for-18 on the power play over the last five games after converting 5-of-18 in the previous four.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 4, Jets 2