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game preview

Golden Knights at Flames preview

Vegas can take sole possession of first place in Pacific; Calgary eyes fourth straight win

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (37-24-8) at FLAMES (36-26-7)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV  

The Game

The Vegas Golden Knights can move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division when they play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Vegas, which is 9-2-0 in its past 11 games and 12-4-1 in its past 17, is tied with the Edmonton Oilers.

Calgary has won three in a row and is 5-1-1 in its past seven games. The Flames are three points behind Vegas and Edmonton, and they lead the Vancouver Canucks by three points for third in the Pacific Division.

Players to watch

Golden Knights forward William Karlsson has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past six games.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.


They said it

"It's big games, division games, four-point games. Our division is so tight. Everyone knows that. If you can create some separation somehow, it'll be huge. Division games are going to be really important (from) here on out, so we need to be sharp and be ready for them." -- Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb

"It's a huge game in order to try to get the division. There's different scenarios every night it seems like, but they're all huge and we just want to keep playing well. It's a huge opportunity. It's another four-point game against a team who is leading our division. We definitely look at all those things, for sure." -- Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Paul Stastny -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- William Karlsson -- Nicolas Roy

Brandon Pirri -- Chandler Stephenson -- Nick Cousins

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Alec Martinez -- Shea Theodore

Nick Holden -- Zach Whitecloud

Marc-Andre Fleury

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Deryk Engelland, Jon Merrill

Injured: Mark Stone (lower body), Alex Tuch (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Andrew Mangiapane -- Mikael Backlund -- Matthew Tkachuk

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Tobias Rieder

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Rasmus Andersson

Derek Forbort -- Erik Gustafsson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Zac Rinaldo, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone

Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. … Flames coach Geoff Ward did not declare a starting goalie following practice Saturday.


Stat pack

Pacioretty has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games. …Lehner is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .967 save percentage with one shutout in two starts with Vegas, which acquired him in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 24. …Tkachuk has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games. …Backlund has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in his past 15 games. … Brodie has scored a goal in three straight games for the first time in his NHL career.

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