This is arguably the most important night of the 2019-20 regular season for the Vegas Golden Knights, who take on the Edmonton Oilers in a Pacific Division showdown.
In what is the second game of a back-to-back after beating the Calgary Flames on Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights will look to tighten their grip on the Pacific by beating the Oilers.
There is a hell of a lot riding on this game for both teams and, as a result, we delved into some storylines…
Storyline 1 – Heavyweight Clash
Tonight’s game really is a tantalizing battle between two heavyweights of the Pacific Division.
After beating the Calgary Flames last night, the Golden Knights are back atop the Pacific with 12 games of the regular season remaining.
However, the Oilers are just two points behind in second with a game in-hand, meaning that whoever comes out on top at Rogers Place tonight will gain a huge mental edge.
This really is set up to be a mouthwatering contest and the Golden Knights could really make a huge statement with a win tonight.
Storyline 2 – McDavid Cleared
Connor McDavid has been struggling with illness this week but he will play tonight, which is bad news for the Golden Knights.
Despite missing some time with injury, McDavid has been absolutely unstoppable once again this year with 33 goals and 63 assists for 96 points in 63 games, with a whopping 43 of those points coming on the power play.
We all know how dangerous McDavid is and even at 50% the superstar is probably still one of the best players on the planet, so the Golden Knights will have their work cut out for them.
Storyline 3 – No Tuch
Alex Tuch was expected off the LTIR today but the forward has now been sent back to Vegas after suffering a setback.
This is a crushing blow for Tuch who has missed significant time this year already with a slew of injuries, and it remains to be seen when the forward will be back.
Storyline 4 – Draisaitl the Great
What a year Leon Draisaitl is having.
We’re still a few weeks away from the postseason but the uber-talented forward has already reached triple digits in points this year.
Through 69 games this year, Draisaitl has racked up 43 goals and 67 assists for 110 points, which is just incredible.
Draisaitl is just on a different planet this year and, if the Golden Knights don’t put the shackles on Draisaitl and McDavid, or at the very least slow them down, then it could be a very long night for Vegas.
Storyline 5 – Special Teams Prowess
The Edmonton Oilers, who are 9-4-2 in their past 15 outings, have absolutely dominated on special teams this year.
They have spent an NHL-high 94 days ranking in the top five on both the power play and on the penalty kill this season, which is just incredible.
The Oilers rank 1st on the power play (29.6) and second on the penalty kill (84.8), so the Golden Knights will have to both stay out of the box and be clinical on the PP.
Storyline 6 – Goalie Battle
Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 26-16-5 this year with a 2.79 Goals Against Average and a .905 Save Percentage, will get the start for the Vegas Golden Knights.
And Mikko Koskinen, who stopped 45 shots in Edmonton’s 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, will start for the Oilers.
Koskinen has been impressive this year with a 18-13-2 record with a 2.75 Goals Against Average and a .917 Save Percentage.