Las Vegas–The Vegas Golden Knights finally play hosts to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as they welcome the high powered Chicago Blackhawks for the 1st time of the season in part 6 of their 7 game homestand.
For the Golden Knights this the third time in their inaugural season to welcome a flagship hockey club to T-Mobile Arena.
The Chicago Blackhawks organization is one the best franchises in from the “Original 6” era having been a 6-time Stanley Cup Championship (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, and 2015).
They also have some very prestigious players that have retired over the years which include Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, Denis Savard, Keith Magnuson, and Pierre Pilote.
Mentioned above, these are some great men who were pioneers in their own right in growing the game.
Last season for the Chicago Blackhawks they finished the regular season with a 50-23-9 record at 109 points.
They were supposed to be the Vegas odds favorite to win the 2017 Stanley Cup but the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators in a series that featured a 4 game sweep.
Currently this season they sit in 2nd place in the NHL’s Central Division with a 5-2-2 record at 12 points.
Their current leader in goals is forward Brandon Saad with 6 on the season. Saad recently came back to the Chicago in the Artemi Panarin trade. He also has 2 assists to his credit.
Forwards Richard Panik and Patrick Kane are in 2nd and 3rd place in goals with the Blackhawks with 5 and 4 respectively.
Kane along with defenseman Ducan Keith are the co-leaders in assists with 7 each.
For Kane he holds the lead in points with 11 while Hartman comes in 2nd with 9 of his own.
They’ve been getting really solid goaltending from veteran Corey Crawford who has 1.86 GAA and .945 save percentage with a 5-2-0 record. In those starts, he’s only allowed 13 goals to get past him.
Among goaltenders around the league, Crawford is ranked 2nd behind Flyers Michal Neuvirth in both GAA and save percentage.
Their big minute’s guy comes from a usual source as defenseman Keith leads the Blackhawks with an ATOI of 25:12.
Their captain Toews has 8 points on the year with 3 goals and 5 assists.
They are entering into this contest having defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 in their game they played on October 21 and with a few days off so the Vegas Golden Knights will need to be aware of that when stepping on the ice when facing a well-rested Blackhawks team.
For the Vegas Golden Knights continue to be the big surprise around the league with their 6-1-0 record and having won three of those games in overtime fashion.
The Golden Knights enter this contest on 3 game winning streak that started back on October 15 when they defeated the Boston Bruins 3-1. That followed up with a 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres and then a 3-2 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues.
James Neal continues to lead the team in goals with 6, while forward Oscar Lindberg is in 2nd place with 3 of his own.
Their leader in assists is forward Reilly Smith who has 5 and defenseman Luca Sbisa has 4 along with forward Brandon Leipsic.
Leading the way in points with the team is forward Neal with 8 and behind him is Smith at 7.
Heading into the contest against the Blackhawks, Golden Knights forward William Karlsson is on a three-game scoring streak which includes his overtime winner against the St. Louis Blues.
Forward Erik Haula still remains on IR with the club.
Both Marc-André Fleury and Malcolm Subban will not be available tonight against due to separate injuries they sustained in recent action.
According to Head Coach Gerard Gallant, tonight’s starter will be Oscar Dansk while recently recalled goalie Maxime Lagace will serve as his backup. Dansk recorded with the win in relief against the St. Louis Blues.
He’s been with the Golden Knights AHL affiliate for the past few weeks. Dansk has recorded a 0-0-1 record, .833 save percentage and 5.57 goals-against average this season with the Wolves.
For Dansk, this will be the greatest of his career backstopping the net for the Golden Knights against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Will the Vegas Golden Knights stop the NHL’s elite and skilled Chicago Blackhawks team, tune in to find out?
Update: 3:45 PM
Vegas Golden Knights have activated forward Jonathan Marchessault off of IR and have sent down to the Chicago Wolves, Vadim Shipachyov.
Official Broadcast Schedule
Tonight’s puck drop is at 7:00 pm PT. Las Vegas
Television: The matchup will on AT&T SportsNet. This is DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), Cox Cable channels 313 (SD) and 1313 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD).
Radio: The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.