After a tough six-game road trip to the east, the Vegas Golden Knights return home tonight for a brief respite, of sorts, before heading out again next week for a two-game swing north of the border. At 7:30 pm PT, the Golden Knights host the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena, and after losing five of the six games on the road trip, the team could use a victory at home.
It will be tough, though, as the Vegas roster is still thin at goaltender, and Vegas' Maxime Lagace faces Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck with his 8-0-2 record and stellar statistics (.936 save percentage, 2.12 goals-against average). Lagace is 1-4-1, having played in all six road games after the Golden Knights started off the season 8-1-0 behind their top-three goalies, now all injured.
After winning just one of the first four road games last week, the Golden Knights dropped an overtime shootout game in Toronto on Monday before losing by a goal in regulation at Montréal on Tuesday. Both games could have gone either way, and hopefully, the Vegas roster is a little rested and ready for tonight's game. Winnipeg is 8-3-3 this season, in second place among Central Division teams. The Jets last played on Monday night in Dallas, beating the Stars, 4-1.
No one expected the Golden Knights to start the season so strongly, but goalies Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban and Oscar Dansk all performed very well in net. But one by one, they got hurt. Lagace has done admirably, considering he'd never played in a National League Hockey game before this season. Overall, the team has stayed together well under the guidance of Head Coach Gerard Gallant, despite the injuries to the three top goaltenders.
As noted, tonight's game is the only one at home for now as Vegas goes to play in Edmonton on Tuesday next week and then Vancouver on Thursday. After this game in Sin City against the Jets, the Golden Knights next play at home on November 19 against the Los Angeles Kings, the team currently in first place among Pacific Division teams. Vegas is in second place, currently.
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