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Morning Skate Report: October 17, 2019

Stone faces former team for first time as a Golden Knight

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights conclude a two-game homestand as they host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT at T-Mobile Arena. Game action can be found on AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports Radio 98.9/1340 and Deportes Vegas 1460.

NOTES
Thursday's game is the first of the season between Vegas and Ottawa. The teams will meet again at Canadian Tire Centre on Jan. 16.

Mark Stone will face his former team for the first time since being traded to the Golden Knights from the Senators on Feb. 26.

Gerard Gallant confirmed that Brandon Pirri will return to the lineup Thursday night against Ottawa.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: FOX Sports 98.9/1340 | Deportes Vegas 1460

FROM THE ROOM

Video: Pregame 10/17 - Marchessault

Video: Pregame 10/17 - Pacioretty

Video: Pregame 10/17 - Stone

LAST TIME OUT
The Golden Knights jumped out to another fast start Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators, but Vegas fell, 5-2, at T-Mobile Arena. Stone and Reilly Smith each scored their fifth goal of the season, respectively, during the first period as the home team held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. A second-period lapse saw Vegas fall behind, 4-2, and another third period goal from the Predators allowed them to escape The Fortress with a 5-2 win.

OPPOSITION UPDATE
It hasn't been a dream start to the season by any means for the Ottawa Senators as they've skated out to a 1-4-0 start. Though they've accrued only two points, their one victory came on home ice against defending Presidents Trophy winner Tampa Bay.

Recently acquired forward Vladislav Namestnikov (2G, 2A) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1G, 3A) are tied for first on the Senators in scoring with four points each. Second-year forward Brady Tkachuk has recorded three points (2G, 1A) through five games as he looks to stand out once again after a strong rookie year.

2018-19 SERIES
In two contests last season, the Golden Knights earned two close victories against the Senators. On Oct. 28, 2018, then-Senator Mark Stone hooked Jonathan Marchessault on a breakaway in overtime to trigger Marchessault's game-winning penalty shot goal as Vegas claimed a 4-3 win at T-Mobile Arena. Two weeks later, William Carrier's third-period goal lifted the Golden Knights to a 5-3 win at Canadian Tire Centre.

VGK LEADING SCORERS
Stone and Reilly Smith are tied atop the goal-scoring leaderboard for Vegas as each have notched five goals apiece this season. Stone's 10 points are the most of any VGK player while Max Pacioretty ranks second in that category with eight points (2G, 6A). William Karlsson is the team leader in assists (seven) through seven games.

A VEGAS VICTORY WOULD…
- Be the 99th win in franchise history

- Give the Golden Knights a 1-1-0 record against Eastern Conference opponents this season

KEYS TO THE GAME
Strong Second Period: Strong starts are part of the Golden Knights' brand of hockey, but the second period has been a time when opponents have found flaws in Vegas' game-plan. Locking down the middle period will help the Golden Knights against a hungry Ottawa team.

Quick Transitions: Vegas is known as a team that turns defense into offense quickly, however those transitions were a split-second behind Tuesday night against Nashville. All it will take for the Golden Knights to return to that style Thursday is renewed confidence to make plays they've made in the past.

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