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Morning Skate Report: February 9, 2019

The Golden Knights return home to face the Columbus Blue Jackets

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

After a four-game road trip against Eastern Conference foes, the Vegas Golden Knights will play eight of their next nine games at T-Mobile Arena starting with a tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. Saturday. Fans can tune in to AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports Radio 98.9/1340 and ESPN Deportes 1460 for the action.

NOTES
The Golden Knights will open a four-game homestand Saturday against Columbus. Vegas will play eight of its next nine games on home ice.

Saturday's game is the final matchup of the season between Vegas and Columbus. The Blue Jackets defeated the Golden Knights on Dec. 17, 1-0, at Nationwide Arena.

LAST TIME OUT
Vegas picked up its second win in a row as they knocked off the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, on Thursday at Little Caesar's Arena. After a slow start put the Golden Knights behind 1-0 after 20 minutes, Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, and William Karlsson scored once to flip the script in Vegas' favor. The Red Wings made it a 3-2 game early in the third, but Brayden McNabb lifted a shot into the cage to put Vegas ahead by two. Despite a late Detroit goal, Vegas held on to win the game, 4-3.

SEASON SERIES
In their only prior meeting this season, the Golden Knights were unable to solve Sergei Bobrovsky as Columbus earned a 1-0 win. Nick Foligno scored the lone goal 40 seconds into the third period while Bobrovsky made 28 saves, including 14 stops in the third period. Malcolm Subban made 30 saves for Vegas in the losing effort.

OPPOSITION UPDATE
Through 53 games, the Blue Jackets find themselves in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 63 points and an overall mark of 30-20-3. They sit five points back of the first-place New York Islanders (68 points).

Columbus arrives in Vegas on a two-game win streak. After doubling up the Colorado Avalanche, 6-3, on Feb. 5, the Blue Jackets picked up a 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 7. The tilt against Vegas will be the last game of Columbus' three-game trip.

Forward Artemi Panarin has posted a team-leading 60 points (20G, 40A) in 51 games. Cam Atkinson is closing in on the second 30-goal season of his career as he's notched 29 goals on the year. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky ranks seventh in the NHL in wins (21).

A VEGAS VICTORY WOULD...

  • Mark the 83rd win in franchise history
  • Give the Golden Knights a three-game win streak for the fourth time this season

KEYS TO THE GAME
Solve Bobrovsky: If Bobrovsky starts against Vegas, the Golden Knights will have their hands full trying to beat the Russian-born goaltender. The last time the Blue Jackets played at T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 23, 2018, Vegas beat Bobrovsky five times in a 6-3 win.

Support Your Goalie: After the 1-0 loss to Columbus in December, head coach Gerard Gallant said he wished the team performed better in front of Subban. That game is in the past, but the Blue Jackets will try to force Vegas to revert that type of game where the goaltender has to be the best player. It will take consistent offensive pressure to give whichever goalie starts the support that he needs.s

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