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Golden Knights At Rangers: 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 / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Who's in goal?

You know, like Who's On First?

After Oscar Dansk went down to injury on Monday, this would be a fair question to ask. It appears to be Maxime Lagace, for what it's worth.

Lagace is expected to get the start against the New York Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the Golden Knights will look to rebound from Monday's loss to the Islanders and improve to 9-2-0.

Today's game starts at 7:00 PM in New York, 4:00 PM in Las Vegas.

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 Recap: Dansk injured in 6-3 loss to Islanders

 

RELATED: Islanders 6, Golden Knights 3: 3 Takeaways

1. All about goaltending

Through 10 games, how many people would've bet that the Golden Knights would've lost more games to injury than actual games?

But when Oscar Dansk became the third Vegas goalie to go down on Monday, this is exactly what happened to the 8-2-0 Golden Knights.

Although Dylan Ferguson was recalled from the WHL's Kamloops Blazers to fill Dansk's roster spot, Maxime Lagace is expected to make his first NHL start in goal. Lagace relieved Dansk on Monday in Brooklyn and took the loss, allowing four goals on 11 shots.

Lagace has spent the past three years in the AHL and ECHL, mostly in the Dallas Stars' farm system.

How will the 24-year-old perform in his first NHL start?

From outside the organization, the expectations aren't high.

Although we have to remember that expectations were similarly low for Oscar Dansk when he made his first NHL start last week, and he defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in his debut.

 

Video: VGK@NYI: Dansk leaves with injury in 2nd

 

2. Resiliency?

As a team, the Golden Knights haven't faced many setbacks. After all, last night was only the team's second loss.

For a team that doesn't have much experience with failure at this point, how it responds to getting kicked in the teeth by the Islanders is a real question. Just because there isn't much basis for comparison.

Although it should be noted that similar questions were posed after the team's first loss, December 13 against the Detroit Red Wings. The Golden Knights also faced a similar problem after that game, with Marc-Andre Fleury getting injured in that loss.

The Golden Knights responded by winning the next five games, utilizing less established goalies.

Vegas will have to do that again this evening, or risk losing consecutive games for the first time in team history.

 

Video: Gerard Gallant on what went wrong vs. New York

 

3. Ranger Danger

Over the past five years, the Rangers have been one of the NHL's most successful franchises to not win a Stanley Cup.

Backed by future Hall of Fame goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers have been regular contenders, and entered this season expecting similar results.

Instead, New York has been beleaguered from the start, sitting in last place in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-7-2 record.

Part of the reason for the struggle has been less-than-stellar performances by the usual impenetrable Lundqvist in goal. With a save percentage of only .900, some have questioned if the 35-year-old has passed his prime.

There's still plenty of talent on this roster, as well as promise for the future. 24-year-olds Mika Zibanejad (7G, 3A) and JT Miller (2G, 8A) are the team's leading scorers, and blockbuster free agent signing Kevin Shattenkirk has been one of the league's highest scoring defensemen.

For some reason, it just hasn't meshed this season, who are surely licking their chops to face the fourth goalie of an expansion team this evening.

Vegas' mission is similar…kick a New York team which is clearly struggling. 

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