|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 19, 2019
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Attendance: 18,511
Vegas hopes to juice up power play against Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vegas Golden Knights
- The home team has won all three Penguins-Golden Knights meetings to date, most recently a 4-2 Pittsburgh win on October 11 of this season. In the last two games between the teams, both in Pittsburgh, the Pens outscored the Golden Knights in the second period, 6-1.
- After winning seven games in succession, the Golden Knights have dropped two of three contests -- a pair of regulation losses sandwiching an overtime win at Chicago. Vegas had earned points in 12 straight home games (10-0-2) before losing their last home game in regulation, 3-2 to the Sharks on January 10.
- Jonathan Marchessault has only two goals in his last 16 games and only four points (none on the power play) in his last 14 contests. One year after recording 12 points in 12 January games, Marchessault has only one point in seven games this month.
- Since his December 15 return from injury, Matt Murray has gone 9-1-0, tied for the second-most wins in the NHL in that span. Former Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury is one behind Murray with a record of 8-2-2 since December 15.
- Sens hire ex-Leafs asst. Smith as coach
- Isles sign C Nelson for 6 years, $36M
- Marchand avoids injury in scrimmage
- Arbitrator upholds Voynov's suspension
- Pens re-sign D Ruhwedel to 2-year deal
The Vegas Golden Knights had a three-day break heading into Saturday night's home game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And not surprisingly, Gerard Gallant's squad spent plenty of practice time working on the team's power play.
Vegas ranks 20th in the NHL on the power play with an 18.0 percentage and has converted just one of its last 30 chances. That includes going 0-for-6 in its last game, a 4-1 loss at Winnipeg on Tuesday night that included a five-on-three advantage for 50 seconds late in the second period when the Golden Knights had a season-high 26 shots on goal.
"You've got to keep working on stuff and try and get it going," Gallant said. "I thought they did a good job in Winnipeg. I thought they should have had three goals in that game. So keep working, keep plugging away and sooner or later it's going to go in.
"It goes in streaks. They're doing a good job overall. They're working hard. Until the Winnipeg game it didn't cost us any games. I'm all about winning hockey games whether it's power play, PK (penalty kill), five-on-five, whatever it takes."
The power play could get a boost on Saturday if defenseman Colin Miller, out since suffering an undisclosed injury on Dec. 17 against Columbus, returns as expected. Miller, who set an AHL record for hardest shot at 105.5 miles per hour in 2015, has one goal and eight assists at the point on the power play in 36 games this season.
"We'll see (Saturday)," Gallant said when asked about Miller's return. "He's skated pretty well the last two days and he got some reps with the power-play unit so he's real close."
Vegas has lost two of its last three games following a team-record seven-game win streak that was snapped by San Jose, 3-2, on Jan. 10 in the team's last home game. The defending Western Conference champs, who enter the contest in third place in the Pacific Division with 60 points, are a glossy 15-4-3 at home this season and also host Minnesota and Nashville before heading into the All-Star break.
"Pittsburgh is the first one and it's going to be fun," Gallant said. "Obviously (goalie Marc-Andre) Fleury has a lot of great memories with that organization and a lot of good friends over there, but it's going to be a game where we want to get two points."
Fleury was the first pick of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Penguins, where he was team MVP in 2011 and also played on three Stanley Cup champions before going to Vegas in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. He leads the league in wins (26) and shutouts (six).
Pittsburgh, which snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 overtime victory at Arizona on Friday night, will be finishing up a five-game, nine-day western road trip. The Penguins, who won it on a redirect power-play goal by Phil Kessel off a shot by Sidney Crosby, are 3-3 in their last six games following an eight-game winning streak. It was the 61st game-winning goal in Kessel's career, 10 of which have come in overtime
"It's good to get two points and we need a big one here tomorrow night," Crosby said. "We were just working it around trying to get a shooting lane and Phil found a little soft area there in front of the net. Just tried to hit his stick. I don't know if it went five-hole or under the glove or where it went, but he did a good job of showing his stick and made a great play."
The Penguins, who will have a eight-day break following Saturday night's contest, won the first meeting between the two teams this season on Oct. 11 in Pittsburgh, 4-2, thanks to a hat trick by Kessel.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 19, 2019