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Flames at Golden Knights preview

Eakin to make season debut for Vegas; Rittich starts fifth straight game for Calgary

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

FLAMES (2-1-1) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (2-2-0)



The Game

Cody Eakin will make his season debut for the Vegas Golden Knights when they host the Calgary Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

Eakin will center the third line after missing Vegas' first four games with an undisclosed injury sustained in the preseason finale against the San Jose Sharks. The 28-year-old had an NHL career-high 41 points (22 goals, 19 assists) last season

Vegas will try to avoid losing its third consecutive game after winning its first two. Marc-Andre Fleury is scheduled to play his 803rd NHL game, tying Harry Lumley for 15th on the League's all-time list for goalies.

The Flames, coming off a 3-2 shootout win at the Dallas Stars on Thursday, are looking for their first victory ever at Vegas (0-4-0). Goalie David Rittich will make his fifth consecutive start.


Players to watch

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has six points (two goals, four assists) this season.

Golden Knights forward Mark Stone has six points (two goals, four assists) in the first four games. He is two assists from 200 in the NHL.


They said it

"It's just loud. It's a playoff atmosphere every time you're here [in Las Vegas] for the regular season. They seem to really feed off of momentum. We've got to limit the chances, we have to limit the momentum swings and just play a hard 60 minutes. -- Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk

"You want to come back, you want to get right back in it. You spend a lot of time working out, and you get tired of working out and you want to play hockey games. It's tough, but it's just the way it is." -- Golden Knights center Cody Eakin


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Sam Bennett

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Andrew Mangiapane

Tobias Rieder -- Mark Jankowski -- Michael Frolik

Mark Giordano -- Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

TJ Brodie -- Michael Stone

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Oliver Kylington

Injured: Austin Czarnik (upper body)


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Valentin Zykov -- Cody Eakin -- Cody Glass

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Nick Holden

Nicolas Hague -- Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Oscar Dansk

Scratched: Jake Bischoff, Brandon Pirri

Injured: Nate Schmidt (lower body), Alex Tuch (upper body), Malcolm Subban (lower body), Zach Whitecloud (upper body)


Status report

The Flames will use the same lineup they dressed in Dallas. … Glass will move to the wing after centering the second line to start the season. … McNabb will play his 400th game in the NHL. … Vegas recalled Bischoff from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Friday and reassigned defenseman Jimmy Schuldt and forward Nicolas Roy. Subban is day-to-day; Dansk was recalled from Chicago on Saturday and will back up Fleury.


Stat pack

Hanifin has scored goals in consecutive games. … Tkachuk had nine points (five goals, four assists) in four games against Vegas last season. … Vegas coach Gerard Gallant is two wins from 250 in the NHL. … Smith has four points (three goals, one assist) this season.

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