Vegas Golden Knights: Giordano And The Flames Are In Town

Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights and the Calgary Flames will play their third of four meetings against each other this season as Vegas welcomes Calgary to T-Mobile Arena tonight. 

These two teams haven’t seen each other since mid November.  Vegas is starting to get on a roll since adding Mark Stone at the deadline with 4 straight wins. 

Calgary has lost their last 2 games and are coming off a disappointing 6-2 loss to Toronto Monday night.  They are also coming into their first game of a back to back situation, they’re flying to Vegas for an 8:30 PM MT start and then flying to Arizona after to play the Coyotes the next night at 7:00 PM MT.

Team Stats Comparison

Here are the numbers for each team heading into tonight’s matchup:

Record

CGY: 41-18-7 (2nd)

VGK: 36-26-5 (14th)

Last 10

CGY: 7-2-1

VGK: 5-4-1

GF/Game

CGY: 3.55 (4th)  

VGK: 2.95 (17th)

GA/Game

CGY: 2.85 (10th)

VGK: 2.76 (7th)                                                                                                                                                    

PP%

CGY: 22.2 (9th)        

VGK: 17.4 (21st)

PK%

CGY: 79.2 (21st)

VGK: 82.8 (6th)

5v5 CF%

CGY: 53.16 (5th)

VGK: 54.3 (3rd) 

5v5 GF%

CGY: 53.03 (9th)        

VGK: 50.38 (14th)

Vegas and Calgary are both high tempo, high event teams in terms of shots and scoring chances.  Vegas has outscored teams 11-6 at 5v5 over the last 5 games, but it’s their special teams that they need to improve as their PP is 18.1% and their PK is 54.5% over the same stretch.  Both teams split the first 2 meetings with Calgary thumping Vegas 7-2 on November 19th and Vegas shutting out Calgary 2-0 on November 23rd.

Starting Lineups

Vegas

Jon MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

Max PaciorettyPaul StastnyMark Stone

Brandon PirriCody EakinAlex Tuch

Ryan CarpenterPierre-Edouard BellemareRyan Reaves

Nate SchmidtDeryk Engelland

Brayden McNabbShea Theodore

Jonathon MerrillColin Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury

Calgary

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanMatthew Tkachuk

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundElias Lindholm

Sam BennettMark JankowskiAustin Czarnik

Michael FrolikDerek RyanGarnet Hathaway

Mark GiordanoRasmus Andersson

Noah HanifinTravis Hamonic

T.J. BrodieDalton Prout

David Rittich

Players to Watch

Calgary: Mark Giordano

Embed from Getty Images

One of the top candidates for the Norris Trophy all season long, Giordano has 62 points in 64 games this season.  He’s averaging 24:39 of ice time/game and is currently 3rd in defenseman scoring, behind Brent Burns and Morgan Rielly.  He also comes into this game on a 4-game point streak with a goal and three assists in Calgary’s last 4 games.

Vegas: Mark Stone

Embed from Getty Images

Stone leads Vegas in scoring with 63 points in 63 games coming into this game and has fit right in to the team.  He hasn’t lit up the score sheet yet, but he’s not far from breaking out.  As a line, him, Pacioretty and Stastny have been destroying competition at 5v5 so far.  It’s only been 4 games but in those 4 games, that line has yet to give up a 5v5 goal against.  I expect Stone to start finding the score sheet very soon.

My Expectations

I expect both teams to come out and give their best performance in this game.  Vegas has been rolling and will look to extend their win streak, they will be the more rested team with two days off between last game and this one as well as two days between their next game on Saturday.  This will be Calgary’s 2nd game of 3 in 4 nights, they’re going to look to bounce back after their performance on Monday.  It looks like both teams will be going with their starters in Fleury and Rittich as this is an important game for both teams.  Vegas needs to keep playing the way they are at 5v5 if they want success but in a game like this special teams could make a difference.  Their PK is 6th in the league but it has struggled lately and their powerplay has been inconsistent all season.  Maybe this could be the game that helps as Calgary’s PK has been below average, but Vegas’ PK will have to be ready for Calgary’s 9th ranked powerplay. 

This is an important game for both, and it will surely be a fast, entertaining game tonight at T-Mobile Arena, puck drop is 10:30 EST, 8:30 MT.

Stats/Info retrieved from:

www.nhl.com

www.naturalstattrick.com

www.dailyfaceoff.com

 

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

 

 

Author: Adam Kulak