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SB Nation Golden Knights Blog: Knights on Ice
Know Your Opponent
Vegas Golden Knights
Record: 12-2-0 | 24 points
Last Game: 4-3 OT win over the Toronto Maple Leafs
Division Ranking: 1st in the Pacific (1st in NHL)
PP: 15th (22.7%)
PK: 19th (78.1%)
What to Watch
1. Two Different Trajectories
The Sabres and Golden Knights are on very different streaks heading in Thursday night’s game. Vegas has lost only two games this season and has won eight straight. On the flip side, the Sabres had a hot start but have now lost three straight.
Sabres fans can take solace in the fact that the Sabres’ blueline is starting to return to normalcy, with Rasmus Dahlin and Ilya Lyubushkin both returning to the lineup in their last game. Henri Jokiharju has started skating with the team, and Jeremy Davies was returned to Rochester.
2. Need A Big Game From Tage & Co.
Tage Thompson has been one of the Sabres’ best players this season. Entering Thursday night, he’s recorded 13 points in his last six games. He’s tied with Dahlin for the scoring leader on the team, as both have 16 points. Thompson’s eight goals are also tops. Alex Tuch - a former Golden Knight himself - and Jeff Skinner aren’t far behind, with 11 points each, while Victor Olofsson has a respectable 10 points in 13 games this season.
As the Sabres prepare to face a tough Vegas team that’s going to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them, they’ll need their big offensive pieces to step up. Of course, the same can be said of the defense, who will need to limit the number of shots the Golden Knights are able to throw on net. Vegas is averaging 33.2 shots per game.
2. Eichel Returns Again
Look, as much as I’d like to say that Eichel’s once-again return to Buffalo isn’t a big thing, it is a thing. He has 15 points (6-9) in 14 games this season and is Vegas’ top scorer. He’ll undoubtedly receive a hefty load of ‘boos’ thrown his way tonight, but he’s not the only former Sabre who will be in attendance.
Eichel said he took some teammates to Gabriel's Gate on Allen for wings for lunch yesterday (was too far to go to Bar Bill in East Aurora). Spent time last night at Kyle Okposo's house visiting with his family. #Sabres #VGK— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) November 10, 2022
Let’s not forget William Carrier, who has six points in 13 games this season, and Brayden McNabb, who has five assists in 14 games.
JJ Peterka - Tage Thompson - Casey Mittelstadt
Jeff Skinner - Dylan Cozens - Alex Tuch
Rasmus Asplund - Peyton Krebs - Victor Olofsson
Vinnie Hinostroza - Zemgus Girgensons - Kyle Okposo
Jacob Bryson – Rasmus Dahlin
Kale Clague – Owen Power
Lawrence Pilut – Ilya Lyubushkin
Goaltenders: Eric Comrie (expected), Craig Anderson
Vegas Golden Knights
Chandler Stephenson - Jack Eichel - Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Mike Amadio - Brett Howden - Phil Kessel
William Carrier - Nicolas Roy - Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez - Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb - Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague - Zach Whitecloud
Goaltenders: Logan Thompson (expected), Adin Hill