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Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Vegas Golden Knights 1/20/2024 - Lines, how to watch

After three long days off, Penguins hockey is back.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (21-15-6, 48 points, 5th place Metropolitan Division) @ Vegas Golden Knights (26-14-5, 57 points, 2nd place Pacific Division)

When: 10:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Sportsnet Pittsburgh, SCRIPPS

Pens’ Path Ahead: The Penguins play the Coyotes on the road on Monday, then get another three days off before Friday starts a back-to-back set at home against the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens.

Opponent Track: This is the Golden Knights’ final contest of a five-game span at home, during which they’ve gone 3-1 so far. It’s been a bounce-back stretch for the recently slumping Knights, which among a spate of injuries went 3-7-0 in their last ten prior to the homestand.

Season Series: The Pens shut the Knights out, 3-0, on Nov. 19 thanks to goals from Ryan Graves and Noel Acciari and 38 saves from Alex Nedeljkovic.

Hidden Stat: The Golden Knights do most of their scoring in the second period, outscoring opponents 52-38 during the frame.

Getting to know the Golden Knights

Projected lines

FORWARDS

Pavel Dorofeyev - Chandler Stephenson - Mark Stone

Ivan Barbashev - Nicolas Roy - Jonathan Marchessault

Brendan Brisson - Brett Howden - Sheldon Rempal

Paul Cotter - Byron Froese - Keegan Kolesar

DEFENSEMEN

Alec Martinez / Alex Pietrangelo

Nicolas Hague / Zach Whitecloud

Brayden McNabb / Kardan Korczak

Goalies: Logan Thompson, Isaiah Saville

Possible scratches: Michael Amadio, Brayden Pachal, Jiri Patera

IR: Jack Eichel, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Shea Theadore, Ben Hutton, Tobias Bjornfot, Daniil Miromanov, Adin Hill, Robin Lehner

The Vegas Injured Knights

When your injured reserve could start a game, you know you’re in trouble.

The Knights announced Tuesday that Jack Eichel has undergone surgery for a lower-body injury and will be out “week-to-week.”

The loss of one of the team’s most consistent producers, who led the Knights with 19 goals and tied for the team lead with 44 points, is just the latest in the series of bad injury news that has plagued the Knights for months.

William Karlsson, who was off to a stellar season start with 32 points, has been listed as week-to-week since the winter classic. Shea Theodore, who drove offense from the Knights’ blue line, has been out since undergoing surgery in November for an upper-body injury.

Goaltender Adin Hill, who has not played since November, was slated to return last week but was announced as a late scratch. He is still practicing with the team and is expected to return during the Knights’ upcoming homestand.

The Golden Knights looked like they’d finally learned how to overcome those losses in their two most recent outings, during which they defeated the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers by a combined score of 9-2. But it remains to be seen if the Knights’ scoring troubles are over yet. There was a recent stretch where the Knights couldn’t score in the first two periods of three straight games.

Player stats

(via hockeydb)

  • You can see from these stats how big the losses of Eichel and Karlsson are.
  • In their absence, Mark Stone is the biggest offensive threat in Vegas. The first regular-season hat trick of his career, scored against the Predators, helped jumpstart the Knights’ consecutive large-margin victories.
  • Logan Thompson has been taking most starts since Adin Hill’s injury and is expected to start tonight. He’s had a strong January after some rough patches earlier this season, going 4-3-0 with a .931 save percentage and 2.14 goals against average since the beginning of the year.

And now for the Penguins

Projected lines

FORWARDS

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Colin White - Lars Eller - Valtteri Puustinen

Jansen Harkins - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter

DEFENSEMEN

Marcus Pettersson / Kris Letang

Ryan Graves / Erik Karlsson

P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies: Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljkovic

IR: Matt Nieto (out from knee surgery until March), John Ludvig (upper body injury)

  • Erik Karlsson was “under the weather” and missed Friday’s 3 p.m. ET practice, according to Mike Sullivan and Pens Inside Scoop.
  • Lars Eller has good memories at T-Mobile Arena. This is where he scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Washington Capitals in 2018.
  • With Radim Zohorna back in Wilkes-Barre Scranton, Colin White is set to appear in his second game of the season tonight. He has five goals and five assists in 21 AHL games this season and made his Pens debut last week against the Hurricanes.
  • Streak watch: Erik Karlsson has points in seven straight game, the longest among any defenseman in the NHL, per Pens PR.
  • Milestone watch: Jake Guentzel is one goal away from his seventh 20-goal season.
  • Haircut news: Jansen Harkins cut his mullet, per DK Pittsburgh Sports’ Taylor Haase.