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HockeyLady

Golden Knights at Blues: 3 Keys to the Game

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The final week of the first half of the NHL season begins with the Golden Knights perched atop the Western Conference. They have become the hunted and tonight will put their 27-9-2 record on the line against the St. Louis Blues. The last time the teams met the Golden Knights silenced the Blues 3-2 in overtime with

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potting the winner.

Vegas has three games this week - tonight in St. Louis, Friday in Chicago against the Blackhawks and then at home Sunday against the New York Rangers.

Sunday's game will see Vegas hit the 41-game mark - the official midway point of the club's 82-game schedule.

Tonight's game starts at 5:00 PM on AT&T SportsNet.

Here are three keys to the game.

 

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Recap: TOR 3, VGK 6

 

  • 04:47 • December 31st, 2017

 

 

1. Still streaking

Vegas has won eight in a row which has seen them rocket to the top of the Western Conference. The club is 17-1-0 when scoring first which is tops in the NHL. Vegas is 10-7-1 on the road but has won its last four in a row away from T-Mobile Arena. The key for Vegas as always is to play a team game. Structure and a five-player game is what Vegas does best. When they play as a unit they've proven to be among the best teams in the NHL and that style is doubly required on the road.

2. More Marchessault

The dynamo signed a fresh six-year and $30 million contract on Wednesday for some off-ice fireworks but it's on the ice where he's been really hot this season. The 27-year-old leads Vegas with 37 points scoring 15 goals and 22 assists. Marchessault along with his linemates Karlsson and

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are key to the Vegas offence. They log big minutes and they produce, accounting for 101 points so far this season. Head coach Gerard Gallant uses this unit in all situations and the trio make up big chunks of the team's power play and penalty kill units. When they run hot - so do the Golden Knights. Vegas is 21-5-2 when this line scores and the trio has combined for at least one goal in each of the last 7 games.

 

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Karlsson's hat trick

 

  • 01:14 • December 31st, 2017

3. Chill the Blues

St. Louis has one of the top lines in the NHL centered by Brayden Schenn (41 points) with Vladimir Tarasenko (39 points) and Scottie Upshall (15 points) on the wings. Upshall is filling in for the injured Jaden Schwartz. The Blues also get production from the blueline and Alex Pietrangelo is one of the best defenseman in the NHL. He can skate and shoot and has great offensive vision. The Blues also have a strong goalie combination with starter Jake Allen carrying a .913 save percentage and backup Carter Hutton owning a .944 save percentage. The Blues are 25-15-2 and sit sixth in the West. They left Vegas stinging after an overtime loss early in the season and will be looking for payback tonight.

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