The Vegas Golden Knights will travel to the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday night to take on the Nashville Predators in a Western Conference matchup. On Monday, the Golden Knights are fourth in the Pacific Division (11-8-0, 22 points) and are coming off a 5-2 road loss against the St Louis Blues. On Monday, the Predators are fifth in the Central Division (10-7-1, 21 points) and are coming off a 3-2 home win over the Anaheim Ducks.
This will be the first of three games between these two franchises that are evenly matched up this season. Let’s take a closer look into Vegas and Nashville to determine where we should be leaning in this game.
Gotta Be GoldenThe Vegas Golden Knights have been solid in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Chandler Stephenson, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. There are nine players currently listed on the injury report so the Golden Knights are going to figure out how to get their lines drawn up. He is leading the team in points and assists as he has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) this season and has scored just one point in his last three games. In the last game against the St Louis Blues, he finished with a goal on a single shot attempt in 18:21 on the ice. Stephenson has shown the ability to be a solid player and he needs to play well if the Golden Knights want to be a threat in the Western Conference.
Robin Lehner is expected to get the start inside of the net this season. He is 8-7-0 so far this season and has 3.01 goals allowed per game with a .913 save percentage. In his last game against the St Louis Blues, he allowed five goals on 31 shots in a losing effort. Vegas has allowed 59 goals this season, which is 24th in the league. They have been average against opposing power plays as they have killed 42-of-52 (80.77 percent) of them so far this season. The Predators are a bottom-half offense so far this will be a chance for the Golden Knights to take advantage.
Predators are AttackingThe Nashville Predators have been decent in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Matt Duchene, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. They only have Filip Forsberg on the injured list with an upper body injury on Injured Reserve so they are as healthy as they should expect to be. Duchene is leading the team in points and goals as he scored 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) and has recorded eight points in his last five games. In his last game against the Anaheim Ducks, he finished without any points on three shot attempts in 22:24 on the ice. If he can figure out how to be more involved in the offense, they could improve in the standings.
Juuse Saros is expected to be the starting goalie for this game so it will be a good chance for the Predators to compete. He is 8-6-1 this season and is allowing 2.43 goals per game allowed and is saving .920 percent of his shot. In his last game against the Anaheim Ducks, he gave up two goals on 31 shot attempts in a winning effort. Nashville, as a team, has allowed 50 goals this season, which is 14th in the league. They have been decent against power plays as they have allowed 13 power play goals in 61 opportunities (78.69 kill percentage), so this defense has been improving as the season prolongs. The Vegas Golden Knights are a very good scoring threat so this could be a good game to test the Predators defensively.
- Nashville: 22-6 in their last 28 games as a home favorite
- Nashville: 9-4 in their last 13 games
- Vegas: 1-4 in their last 5 Wednesday games
- Vegas: 2-5 in their last 7 vs a team with a winning record