Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vegas Golden Knights

  

Vegas Golden Knights (6–4–0) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (2–3–1)

7:30 p.m. CDT

United Center

TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Projected starters

Chicago — Robin Lehner (1–0–1, .931 save percentage, 2.46 goals against average)

Vegas – Marc-Andre Fleury (6–2–0, .934 save percentage, 2.18 goals against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (16.7%, T-21st)
Vegas (28.6% Fifth)

Penalty kill
Chicago (66.7%, 29th)
Vegas (90.0%, Fourth)

Shorts for/against
Chicago (33.7, T-eighth; 33.7, Sixth)
Vegas (35.0, Fourth; 33.8, Fifth)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (8.9%)
Vegas (9.8%)

Face off percentage
Chicago (49.8%, 17th)
Vegas  (48.3%, 22nd)

Average height and weight
Chicago – 6-foot-1, 198 pounds
Vegas – 6-foot-2, 201 pounds

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincatJonathan ToewsAndrew Shaw

  Dylan StromeKirby Dach Patrick Kane

Brandon SaadDavid KampfDominik Kubalik

 Drake CaggiulaRyan CarpenterAlexander Nylander

Duncan KeithConnor Murphy

Olli Maatta
Brent Seabrook

Calvin de HaanErik Gustafsson

Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam Karlsson — Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty – Paul StastnyMark Stone

Brandon PirriCody EakinCody Glass

William CarrierTomas NosekRyan Reaves

Brayden McNabb – Shea Theodore

Jon MerrillNick Holden

Jake BischoffDeryk Engelland

Analysis

In arguably the Blackhawks’ best game of the season, the team fell to the Washington Capitals Sunday night. Despite the loss, there were many positives from the game. The newest additions for the Blackhawks shone brightly. Kirby Dach made his NHL debut against Washington. Dach was the third overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft and had a solid opening night centering the second line featuring Dylan Strome and Patrick Kane.

Another star that shone brightly was winger Dominik Kubalík with 10 shots on goal and 14 shot attempts. Kubalik looks like a solid addition for the Blackhawks this season and the line of he, David Kampf and Brandon Saad continue to be the most dynamic line for the Blackhawks this far. But, not to be overshadowed, was the play of the fourth line, consisting of Drake CaggiulaRyan Carpenter and Alexander Nylander, which produced two goals and four points in the 5–3 loss. Nylander has points in his last two games.

While offense does not seem to be an issue, the defense continues to be problematic, but there are still two additional areas of concern: The penalty kill and power play. Head coach Jeremy Colliton and his staff need to shore up these areas in their next contest because the Vegas Golden Knights excel on special teams.

The Knights, despite losing their last contest, have four wins in their last five games heading into tonight’s game. The hottest player on the Golden Knights is veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who leads the NHL with six wins and is 4–1 in his last five starts.

In addition to having the hottest goaltender in the league, the Knights also have hot forwards Reilly Smith and Mark Stone. Smith has seven goals and an assist while Stone has six goals and six assists this season for 12 points so far this season. The Blackhawks better be ready to weather another offensive onslaught. Can the Blackhawks shore up their special teams in this matchup?

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And, be sure to look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game on The-Rink.com.

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vegas Golden Knights

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