Vegas Golden Knights at Rangers: Date, Time, More

If you go by the “Thanksgiving Day Rule” then the Vegas Golden Knights are not going to be a playoff team this year, but rules are there to be broken and it starts in New York tonight.

According to research, around 80 percent of teams that occupy a playoff berth on Thanksgiving make the postseason come the end of the regular season, so the omens aren’t good for the Vegas Golden Knights (13-11-4).

However, they could benefit from the fact that the Pacific Division is highly competitive this year and no one team is running away with it, although the Edmonton Oilers are trying their best.

But there is a real opportunity there for the Golden Knights to start playing up to their potential, go on a run and become the top dogs in the Pacific.

That must start in The Big Apple tonight against a New York Rangers team (13-9-3) who are dreaming of the postseason themselves.

Despite still being in the midst of a rebuild, the Blueshirts are flirting with a playoff spot and every game is now vital for them, as it is for the Golden Knights.

They beat the New Jersey Devils in a 4-0 blowout win on Saturday, killing off eight power play attempts, and they boast one of the premier talents in the NHL in Artemi Panarin, who leads the franchise in points with 33 (12 goals, 21 assists) in 25 games.

Franchise center Mika Zibanejad, who missed 13 games with an upper-body injury, has three points (two goals, one assist) in the three games since he’s been back, and he just makes the Rangers tick.

Then there is rookie phenom Kaapo Kakko, who was selected with the No.2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 29: Boston Bruins right defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) and New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) skate out for a shift during a game between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers on November 29, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Despite getting his career in North America off to a slow start, Kakko is starting to find his feet now and the forward has six goals and five assists for 11 points.

But, one of the Blueshirts’ biggest strengths this season has been their blueline, which has amassed over 70 points already and we’re only in December.

The blueline is led by Jacob Trouba who logs monster minutes every night and mans the power play, and then there is rookie Adam Fox who has contributed two game-winning goals in the last three games.

One similarity that these two teams share is the fact that they can both generate shorthanded chances galore, with the Rangers leading the NHL in shorthanded goals with six while Vegas has five.

The Blueshirts are ranked 23rd on the penalty kill this year despite going a perfect 8-for-8 on the PK on Saturday, while they have the 12th best power play in the NHL (20.0).

They are also one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to Goals Against Per Game (3.28), although they boast an abundance of firepower and that is backed up by the fact that they are averaging 3.32 Goals For Per Game, ranked 7th in the NHL.

Overall, the New York Rangers are a team trending in the right direction and they will be a dangerous team to contend with for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start between the pipes tonight and the future Hall of Famer is 7-5-2 this year with a 3.16 Goals Against Average and a .912 Save Percentage.

For the Golden Knights, they could give Malcolm Subban a fourth consecutive start in net tonight with Marc-Andre Fleury still away from the team due to personal reasons.

Cody Eakin is week-to-week with an upper-body injury that was sustained in the win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday after the forward took a high hit from Brad Richardson.

Both Nicolas Roy and Garret Sparks were emergency call ups from the AHL, and it is expected that Roy will slot in as the Knights’ fourth line center while Cody Glass will center the third line.

Max Pacioretty leads the Golden Knights in points with 25 (nine goals, 16 assists), with Mark Stone second with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 29: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena on November 29, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

This Season

Tonight’s meeting is the first between the Vegas Golden Knights and the New York Rangers, who won’t have to wait long until they meet again.

Because, after tonight, the two teams will go head-to-head again on Sunday when the Knights host the Blueshirts at T-Mobile Arena (4:00 p.m. PT).

Projected Lineups

Let’s look at the projected lineups for both teams tonight, per nhl.com:

Vegas Golden Knights:

Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty – Paul Stastny – Mark Stone

William Carrier – Cody Glass – Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek – Nicolas Roy – Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb – Nate Schmidt

Nicolas Hague – Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill – Deryk Engelland

Malcolm Subban

Garret Sparks

Scratched: Nick Holden, Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Cody Eakin (upper body)

New York Rangers

Brendan Lemieux – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko

Chris Kreider – Filip Chytil – Jesper Fast

Micheal Haley – Brett Howden – Brendan Smith

Brady Skjei – Jacob Trouba

Libor Hajek – Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Boo Nieves

Injured: Marc Staal (ankle), Greg McKegg (lower body)

Game info

Here is all the essential information you need to know prior to faceoff…

Time: 4:00 p.m. PT

Where: Madison Square Garden – New York

TV Broadcast: AT&T Sportsnet

Radio: FOX Sports 98.9/1340

Live Streaming: ESPN+ has a free 7-day trial that includes live streaming for this game on all your smart devices! Besides NHL games, ESPN+ features a selection of live games from MLB, MLS, Serie A, FA Cup, and EFL. Get in on the action with Live UFC Fight Nights, 30+ Top Rank Boxing cards, Grand Slam tennis from Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open.

Next: Three keys to beating the Blueshirts

Finishing off

The Vegas Golden Knights had a 2-0-1 record in the New York City area last year, and they will be aiming for a similar record this season.

It is a big week ahead for the Golden Knights who really need to get going here, but they won’t have it easy against a New York Rangers team who are rolling right now and playing with a lot of confidence.

Load Comments