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Morning Skate Report: January 31, 2020

Vegas returns from break to visit Hurricanes

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights (25-19-7) return from their bye week with another road trip which begins against the Carolina Hurricanes (28-18-3) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PT at PNC Arena.

NOTES
Vegas and Carolina collide for the first time this season Friday night. They will conclude their season series on Feb. 8 at T-Mobile Arena.

The Golden Knights come out of the All-Star break and bye week looking to snap a two-game losing streak (0-1-1).

Friday's game marks the first game of a four-game trip that features tilts against the Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury will miss Friday's game as he serves his one-game suspension for declining to participate in NHL All-Star Weekend.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: FOX Sports 98.9/1340

WATCH PARTY
Fans are invited to the team's Skate and Watch Party at City National Arena to take in the action. The game will play on the video board on Summerlin Hospital Rink while fans skate on the ice or watch from the stands. Gold medalists from the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic hockey team Dave Christian and Bill Baker will be in attendance. Frozen custard will be provided by Shake Shack.

LAST TIME OUT
In their final game before the bye week, the Golden Knights concluded a four-game trip at TD Garden in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. Mark Stone got Vegas on the board in the first period and Nicolas Hague potted his first NHL goal in the second period, but a strong final frame pushed the Bruins to the victory.

A VEGAS VICTORY WOULD…

  • Be the 120th win in franchise history

OPPOSITION UPDATE
The Hurricanes have held strong in the Eastern Conference wildcard race through 50 games as they occupy the last playoff spot with 61 points. Carolina rattled off back-to-back wins against the New York Islanders (Jan. 19) and Winnipeg Jets (Jan. 21) before heading into the All-Star break and bye week.

Teuvo Teravainen has had a strong campaign for the Hurricanes with 48 points (10G, 38A) in 50 games. Andrei Svechnikov (19G, 26A), Sebastian Aho (24G, 18A) and Dougie Hamilton round out Carolina's 40-point club, but Hamilton is out long-term with a broken fibula.

STATE OF THE PACIFIC
With 57 points, Vegas holds the No. 4 spot in the Pacific Division and the top wildcard playoff spot in the Western Conference. Entering Friday's action, the Vancouver Canucks lead the division with 62 points with the Calgary Flames sitting just two points back at 60. The Edmonton Oilers sit two points ahead of Vegas with 58 points while the Arizona Coyotes remain in striking distance with 57 points. As of Jan. 31, Vegas has the tiebreaker against Arizona.

KEYS TO THE GAME
No Rust: Vegas has not been in action since Jan. 21. While the players used the bye week to recharge, they can't show any signs of rust against a hungry Carolina team.

Start to See Some Changes: With a bit more time and preparation under his belt, head coach Pete DeBoer will likely look to see some more noticeable changes in the team's style of play.

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