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Morning Skate Report: December 28, 2019

Golden Knights seek split in back-to-back

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights (20-15-6) look to return to their winning ways as they battle the Arizona Coyotes (21-14-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.

NOTES
The Golden Knights are 1-1-0 against the Coyotes this season. The teams enter Saturday's action tied for the top spot in the Pacific Division.

With a win, Marc-Andre Fleury would tie Curtis Joseph for sixth on the all-time wins list by an NHL goalie (454).

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: AT&T SportsNet (SAP Available)
Radio: FOX Sports 98.9/1340 | Deportes Vegas 1460

LAST TIME OUT
The Golden Knights were on the wrong side of a three-goal outburst from the Anaheim Ducks that resulted in a 4-3 Vegas loss. Nate Schmidt scored twice late in the game and Jonathan Marchessault got the team on the board in the second period.

SEASON SERIES
After dropping a 4-1 game in Arizona on Oct. 10, the Golden Knights churned out a 2-1 shootout win against the Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 29. Alex Tuch scored in regulation and netted the shootout winner for the second of four consecutive wins.

A VEGAS VICTORY WOULD…

  • Be the 115th win in franchise history
  • Give Vegas a 2-1-0 edge in the season series vs. Arizona

OPPOSITION UPDATE
Arizona is riding a see-saw streak into Saturday's game with alternating wins and losses in their last 10 outings (5-5-0). The Coyotes are tied with the Golden Knights for the top spot in the Pacific Division with 46 points in 39 games.

Nick Schmaltz is the only Coyote standing on the 30-point plateau (6G, 24A) through 39 games. Clayton Keller's 29 points (10G, 19A) rank second on the team while Christian Dvorak (23 points), Carl Soderberg (22 points), Alex Goligoski (22 points) and Phil Kessel (21 points) round out their 20-point men this year. In four games since his blockbuster acquisition, Taylor Hall has three points (1G, 2A) in four contests as a Coyote.

KEYS TO THE GAME
Stay Out of the Box: Penalty trouble was a key contributor to Vegas' loss to Anaheim on Friday. Playing hard while remaining at full strength will be important against a hungry Coyote team.

Bounce Back: The Golden Knights are in a tough spot with their second back-to-back of the week. Digging deep and finding a way to beat the team they share the top of the division with will show a lot about their character.

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