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Golden Knights At Islanders: 3 Keys To The Game

Tonight's game starts at 4:00. 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).

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

And here come the Knights.

8-1-0, off to the best start in history by an expansion team as Vegas arrives on the east coast for the first time in team history.

For many markets in the east, tonight will be the first they've seen of the Golden Knights. Vegas' ability to perform well over the next week, in front of this audience, would go a long with in proving its viability as a playoff contender this season, too.

Up first on this road trip is the New York Islanders.

Due to the time change, today's game starts at 4:00 PM (PT)

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: Vegas opens its road trip on Monday vs. NY Islanders

1. Change Of Scenery

For a while, the Golden Knights have kind of gotten into a rhythm. Five straight victories, and six out of seven on a season-long homestand.

This, of course, improved Vegas' record to 8-1-0.

The Golden Knights haven't played a road game since October 7 in Arizona, which is a very unusually long stretch for a hockey team to be in one city. Coupled in with Vegas' successful results, you could definitely say the team got into a rhythm.

Now playing in the eastern time zone for the first time, starting off a six-game road trip, it disrupts the routine that Golden Knights had worked their way into.

But will it stop the momentum?

How Vegas adjusts to this change of routine will be a focal point tonight against the Islanders.


Video: Gerard Gallant spoke after Vegas' practice on Sunday

2. Real Deal

Throughout the early going, James Neal has been the most consistent Golden Knight. And with seven goals and 10 points, he's also the team's leading scorer.

During Friday's 7-0 win against Colorado, however, Neal lost a handful of teeth after being hit with an errant stick. On the team's flight to New York, he sported a very unsightly gash, and didn't skate during practice on Sunday..

Neal's a hockey player, so it's hard to expect him to miss any action due to only some missing teeth. His line, centered by Cody Eakin and also accompanied by David Perron, has carried the team's offense, too.

But with Neal in some obvious discomfort the past few days, his ability to rebound will be key for Vegas to have success on its six-game road trip.


Video: David Perron spoke after practice on Sunday


3. Den-Isle Is More Than Just A River In Egypt

But seriously, though. The Islanders.

Who is this team?

After failing to advance in the playoffs for 23 straight years, the Islanders looked like they were on the upswing when they eliminated Gerard Gallant's Florida Panthers in 2015-16 and advanced to the second round.

Then last year, after losing some key players via free agency, the Islanders stumbled back, missing the playoffs again and looking like a team on a downward spiral.

This team still has John Tavares, its franchise center and leading scorer who has 13 points (9G, 4A) in 11 games. Anders Lee is another player to watch with six goals, after racking up 34 the year before.

As a whole, however, it's hard to really say what this team is. With Tavares a pending free agent, New York definitely fancies itself a playoff team once again, although some experts are a little more skeptical.

At 6-4-1, the Islanders are coming in off their best game of the season, a 6-2 win in Nashville on Saturday night.

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