Las Vegas–Today the Vegas Golden Knights take in their first home game since returning from the franchise’s 1st ever major road trip in history as they welcome into town the Winnipeg Jets on “Military Appreciation Night” at T-Mobile Arena.
This is the first time in the new Winnipeg Jets history taking on the newest kids on the block, the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017-18 season.
Ever since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated and became the new Winnipeg Jets franchise they have year after year has struggled with finding their game.
From the 2012-13 to 2016-17 seasons they have finished the campaigns at 5th and 7th places twice.
In that span, they made the postseason only once and got knocked by the Ducks in the 1st round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last season, they completed the regular campaign with a 40-35-7 record at 87 points.
This season, the Jets are currently doing very well in the NHL’s Central Division in 2nd place behind the St. Louis Blues with an 8-3-3 record for 19 points. In their last 10 games, they are 6-1-3.
The Jets come into Vegas riding a 4-0-1 record in their last 5 contest of the season. Their recent success in these last 5 games is thanks in part to the solid play of Connor Hellebuyck who has been great in net for Winnipeg.
The 24-year-old goaltender is current 8-0-2 and with a .936 save percentage and with a 2.12 GAA. Hellebuyck took over between the pipes for the Jets franchise as their starter since Winnipeg inked veteran netminder Steve Mason.
Mark Scheifele is the Jets leading scorer this season so far with 9 on the season. Right behind is Nikolaj Ehlers who has 8 and Patrik Laine anchors their top three in the goal’s department with 7.
For Vegas, they need to be wary when Laine comes out on the ice for his shift because he can skate with a burst of speed and if the Golden Knights defenders are caught napping he will blow right past them.
Blake Wheeler has a commanding lead with the Jets this season in assists with 16. Scheifele and Dustin “Big Buff” Byfuglien are tied in 2nd place in assists with 9.
Their leader in points overall is Blake Wheeler with 21. Scheifele is right behind with 18 points of his own.
The Golden Knights, are coming off of their 3-2 loss to the Montréal Canadiéns, that capped off their 6-game roadie in the Eastern Conference.
Heading into their matchup against the Jets, the Golden Knights recorded on the season record of 9-5-1 and continue to the hold firm in the 2nd place position in the Pacific Division right behind the Los Angeles Kings.
The Golden Knights team leader in goals is forward James Neal who currently has 8 on the season. He also co-leads the team in points with 12 on the year with fellow forward David Perron. Perron also has the 1st ever penalty shot goal in franchise history.
Perron is the Golden Knights leader this season in assists with 8. Defensemen Colin Miller, Brad Hunt, and Nate Schmidt are in a three-way for 2nd with 7 each.
Forwards Reilly Smith stands alone in the 2nd place spot with the Golden Knights in points with 11.
With Fleury and Subban still out of commission for the Golden Knights, Vegas will rely once again on the services of Maxime Lagace to be their last line of defense between the pipes.
Lagace since taking over for the Golden Knights has a 1-4-0-1 record with a .866 save percentage and GAA of 3.87.
The Golden Knights recent struggles have come in the third period when either trying to hold the lead or tie. On their recent trip that has been an area of concern for them being outscored in that period 10-4.
In the final two games, they have successfully kept their opponent off the scoreboard in the third which has been a positive sign for them moving forward.
The Injury Report
VGK: Marc-Andre Fleury (upper body), Malcolm Subban (lower body), Oscar Dansk (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body).
After the Golden Knights posted a 1-4-1 record on their most recent road swing to the Eastern Conference, will some home cooking and energy from the crowd provide them the spark needed to get them back to their winning ways tonight at T-Mobile Arena, tune in to find out?
Gallant’s Remarks Ahead Of The Winnipeg Jets Game
Official Broadcast Schedule
Tonight’s puck drop is at 7:30 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.