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Morning Skate Report: April 16, 2019

Golden Knights look to put Sharks on brink

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights meet the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas leads the series, 2-1. The game will air locally on AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports Radio 98.9/1340 and ESPN Deportes 1460. Out of market fans can tune in on NBCSN.

NOTES
Vegas and San Jose square off for the last time at T-Mobile Arena before heading to SAP Center for Game 5. The teams will meet in Vegas again for Game 6 on April 21 if necessary.

Sharks forward Joe Thornton was suspended one game Monday for his hit on Tomas Nosek in Game 3. Thornton will miss Game 4.

Gerard Gallant did not confirm any lineup changes for the Golden Knights. Peter DeBoer confirmed that Martin Jones will start in goal for San Jose.

FAN FESTIVITIES
Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Toshiba Plaza will feature multiple events and activities including:

  • VGK weddings, commitment ceremonies and vow renewals. Ceremonies are free-of-charge and available only to those 18 years or older.Knight Up Spirit Station with hair and face painting
  • DJ
  • Retail trailer
  • Additional activations by Topgolf, Lotus, Toyota, GEICO and Las Vegas Review-Journal
  • The March to the Fortress will begin an hour before puck drop outside New York-New York and conclude in Toshiba Plaza with a performance by the Golden Aces and Knight Line. Fans at Tuesday's game will receive a battle towel presented by Fast Fit. Fans who attended Game 3 are encouraged to bring their Glow Sticks presented by Green Valley Grocery back for Game 4.

Note: no chairs, coolers, wagons or motorized vehicles are permitted on Toshiba Plaza during Golden Knights home games.

NHL, LVCVA TO HOST PRESS EVENT ON TOSHIBA PLAZA ON TUESDAY, APRIL 16
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) are hosting a press event on Tuesday, April 16 at 5:15 p.m. PT at T-Mobile Arena's Toshiba Plaza in Las Vegas for a special announcement.

Should there be inclement weather the press event will be relocated inside T-Mobile Arena.

LAST TIME OUT
The Golden Knights enjoyed the change of scenery in Game 3 as they used their home ice advantage to claim a 6-3 win. Mark Stone scored a hat trick to go along with two assists to power Vegas to the win. Paul Stastny also collected five points (2G, 3A) and Shea Theodore notched three assists.

SERIES STANDOUTS
Mark Stone: Stone leads the NHL in playoff goals (six) and is tied with Stastny for the league lead in points (eight) through three games.

Paul Stastny: Stastny also leads the league in assists during the postseason with six helpers and is level with Stone at eight points.

Max Pacioretty: Pacioretty ranks third in the NHL in scoring this postseason with six points (2G, 4A).

Erik Karlsson: Karlsson leads the Sharks in scoring with five assists against Vegas.

Logan Couture: Couture has compiled four points (2G, 2A) in three games.

THE SERIES SO FAR
After dropping Game 1, 5-2, Vegas has responded with consecutive wins. The Pacioretty-Stastny-Stone line has been the story of the series for the Golden Knights as they've combined for 22 points (10G, 12A) in just three outings.

FROM THE ROOMS
Brayden McNabb on what Vegas needs to do: This is a pivotal game in the series. It'd be huge for us to get a win tonight and take a stranglehold on the series. We need our best game tonight. They're a big team and they have guys who run around and finish checks. That's exactly what playoff hockey is. We expect that to continue going forward.
 
Gerard Gallant on the importance of the game: The way I look at it, it can either be 3-1 or 2-2 after tonight. It's a big turning point in the series, but it's all about who can win four games.
 
Joe Pavelski on Joe Thornton's suspension:
You hate to see someone miss a playoff game for suspension. It's questionable and everyone has a position on it and stuff like that. But that's what we dealt with and we just need to play a better game as a group.
 
Peter DeBoer on players entering the lineup:
Well it's real simple. Come in and give us some energy, give us your best game. I'm excited to see them. Tough decisions sitting those guys out and putting our line-up in with how good of players they are. I think, bring energy, bring excitement to our group like I know they're capable of.

KEYS TO THE GAME
Feed The Beasts: Get the puck to Pacioretty, Stastny and Stone. San Jose doesn't have an answer for them right now.

Don't Give Sharks Life: In each of the last two games, Vegas has allowed the Sharks to climb back into games with successive goals in bursts. The Golden Knights want to take the lead early and keep it all night long.

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