The Vegas Golden Knights return from the All-Star break looking to halt an extended rough stretch.
Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators try to continue their winning ways amid a push to make the playoffs.
Looking to halt their season-high four-game losing streak, the visiting Golden Knights try to keep the Predators from a fourth consecutive victory on Tuesday night.
After play completed on Jan. 5, Vegas sat atop the Western Conference standings. However, the Golden Knights are 2-6-2 since and currently third in the Pacific Division. They totaled just five goals while going 0-2-2 in their final four games before last week’s All-Star break — all coming on the road.
That said, Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t ready to panic.
“We kinda stumbled into it at the end,” Cassidy told NHL.com. “I think the break was perfect timing for them, allowed them to take a breather, reset.
“We’re still in a good position. That’s the way we look at it. There’s not many teams that can cruise home the last 30 games in this league, and we’re certainly not one of them.”
Vegas has won two straight and six of the last eight meetings with Nashville. Chandler Stephenson had a goal with two assists and Mark Stone added three helpers while Logan Thompson made 33 saves during the Knights’ 5-4 overtime home victory against the Predators on New Year’s Eve.
Since that defeat, though, Nashville is 9-4-0, a winner in five of the last six (5-0-1) and currently amid a season-high five-game home winning streak — where each of its last three overall victories have happened. Though the Predators have totaled 13 goals during their three-game winning streak, they still remain just outside of playoff position in the West.
“I think if we’re going to be able to continue to play the right way, and do the right things, we’re going to be able to put the puck in the back of the net,” Nashville coach John Hynes said.
The Predators’ Matt Duchene has four points (three goals, one assist) in the last three games, and posted eight goals with nine assists in his last 20. Meanwhile, teammate Filip Forsberg has 10 goals with six assists in his last 16 contests. That includes a hat trick at Vegas in December.
Nashville All-Star Juuse Saros has a 2.25 goals-against average and .938 save percentage during his four-game home winning streak. Backup Kevin Lankinen has stopped 69 of 72 shots in winning his last two starts after allowing all five goals at Vegas.
Fresh off his first All-Star appearance, Vegas’ Thompson (2.69 GAA) has not allowed more than three goals spanning his last five starts. Meanwhile, backup Adin Hill (2.73 GAA) has 10 wins this season.
Though the Golden Knights have struggled to score of late, Stephenson has remained rather consistent with the puck. He has recorded four of his team-high 44 points in the last five games.
Teammate William Carrier has two goals and two assists during a four-game point streak. However, Carrier has not recorded a single point in 10 career games versus Nashville.
–Field Level Media