It's all about momentum.
When the Golden Knights won five in a row to finish their homestand on October 27, the momentum was all good. Entering Boston this evening after losing a pair of games in New York against the Islanders and Rangers, the momentum is not good for Vegas.
At 8-3-0, the team is still in a sturdy position overall. But to keep the positive vibes rolling, the Golden Knights badly need a victory this evening at TD Garden.
It can be seen on AT&T SportsNet. This is Cox channels 313 (SD) and 1313 (HD), DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD).
Dave Goucher and Shane Hnidy will have all the action.
Dan D'Uva will be calling the game on FOX Sports Radio. This is 98.9 FM and 1340 AM.
Here are three keys to tonight's game
Video: VGK@NYR: Lagace stones Vesey's tip-in attempt
1. Legace WHAT?
Maxime Legace's effort in goal on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden was a bit incomplete.
Through two periods, he looked great, and had allowed only two goals on 27 shots. Vegas led 4-2.
In the third period, however, Lagace faltered, just as his team lost the momentum. He gave up three goals on 10 shots in the third period, before an empty-net goal finished off a 6-4 Rangers win.
To be fair, Lagace is this team's fourth goalie. So it isn't as if he's expected to be the second coming of Dominik Hasek.
At the same time, Vegas will need a more consistent effort from him tonight, which is expected to be his second career NHL start. Lagace's yet to post a win in the NHL.
His ability to put in a consistent performance could dictate how tonight plays out for the Golden Knights, who actually held late and late-ish leads in both games it's lost on the current six-game road trip.
Video: VGK Recap: Smith pots two in 6-4 loss to Rangers
2. Avoid a skid
As the Golden Knights roared through the team's first homestand of the season, everything looked peachy.
After all, when you win five straight games in front of boisterous home crowds and start 8-1-0, what in the world can seem wrong? Even if at the time, two goalies - Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban - had gone down to injury.
Since leaving on their season-high six-game road trip, the Golden Knights are 0-2-0, losing games to both the New York Islanders and New York Rangers.
Vegas led until late in the second period against the Islanders, and into the third period against the Rangers. Following Tuesday's game in Manhattan, coach Gerard Gallant referred to the collapses as "pissing away points."
The Golden Knights are still 8-3-0, so it's hard to be disappointed in too much about how this team has played. At the same time, playoffs teams - especially expansion teams that aspire to play above expectations - have to avoid lengthy skids. Even if you don't win every night…just avoid lengthy skids.
With the next two games after tonight against difficult opponents in Ottawa and Toronto, Thursday in Boston is a very important tilt for the Golden Knights.
A win, and everything is back to normal.
A loss, and that return to Earth, so to speak, that many experts predicted after this team's hot start, could be on the way.
Video: VGK Recap: Dansk injured in 6-3 loss to Islanders
3. Bears Noting
By today's NHL standards, the Bruins are an average NHL team. They're 4-3-3, after sitting on the playoff bubble - just above or below - each of the past three seasons.
To boot, Boston is hampered by loads of injures.
David Backes will undergo surgery to remove part of his colon, and is expected to miss eight weeks. David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Ryan Spooner and Noel Acciari are also expected to be out for extended periods of time.
On the surface, this seems to make the Bruins ripe for the picking.
At the same time, Boston is a proud franchise, and one that lost 3-1 in Vegas on October 15. This team is doesn't have the soul of its championship self from early in this decade, but it still has the heart in Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
On the road, far from home, this could be a tall task for Vegas, in a building that's traditionally been difficult to win in.
On the surface, however, it does seem as if there's at least an opportunity for the Golden Knights to clinch their first season series victory in franchise history.