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Golden Knights at Coyotes preview

Vegas seeks second straight win; goaltender Raanta to make first start for Arizona

by Craig Morgan / NHL.com Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (1-0-0) at COYOTES (0-1-0)

9 p.m. ET; FS-A, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Vegas Golden Knights will try to improve to 2-0-0 when they face the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Arizona's home opener.

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Golden Knights after making 45 saves in a 2-1 win at the Dallas Stars on Friday in the franchise's first regular-season game.

Center Derek Stepan, goalie Antti Raanta, and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jason Demers will each make their home debuts for the Coyotes, who lost 5-4 at the Anaheim Ducks in their season opener Thursday.

 

Players to watch

Golden Knights forward James Neal scored two goals Friday. He has at least 21 goals in each of his nine NHL seasons.

Raanta makes his first start as the Coyotes' No. 1 goalie. He missed their season-opening 5-4 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday with what he called a spasm. Arizona acquired Raanta and Stepan in a trade with the New York Rangers for defenseman Tony DeAngelo and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23.

 

They said it

"Not worried about that at all. We'll enjoy this and then [Saturday] afternoon, we'll do a pre-scout and get ready for the Coyotes." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the quick turnaround

"When you step out for the first time in a regular-season game in your home building, you want to prove that you can do the job." -- Raanta

 
Golden Knights projected lineup

Reilly Smith -- Jonathan Marchessault -- Oscar Lindberg

David Perron -- Cody Eakin -- James Neal

William Karlsson -- Erik Haula -- Brendan Leipsic

Tomas Nosek -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- William Carrier

Brayden McNabb -- Deryk Engelland

Colin Miller -- Jason Garrison

Luca Sbisa -- Nate Schmidt

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Griffin Reinhart, Jon Merrill, Brad Hunt

Injured: Clayton Stoner (lower body)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Derek Stepan -- Clayton Keller

Nick Cousins -- Christian Dvorak -- Anthony Duclair

Lawson Crouse -- Dylan Strome -- Brendan Perlini

Jordan Martinook -- Brad Richardson -- Tobias Rieder

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Alex Goligoski -- Jason Demers

Kevin Connauton -- Luke Schenn

Antti Raanta

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Christian Fischer, Adam Clendening

Injured: Jakob Chychrun (knee)

Suspended: Zac Rinaldo

 

Status report

The Golden Knights did not skate Saturday. They play the Coyotes in their home opener at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday.

 

Stat pack

Vegas is trying to become the third NHL expansion team to start its inaugural season 2-0-0. The Oakland Seals and Los Angeles Kings did it in 1967-68. … The Coyotes are 14-5-1 in home openers since moving to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996.

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