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Golden Knights at Panthers preview

Vegas has lost three straight; Brassard, Sheahan to make debut for Florida

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (29-20-4) at PANTHERS (20-21-8)



The Game

Forwards Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan will each make his debut with the Florida Panthers when they face the Vegas Golden Knights at BB&T Center on Saturday.

Brassard and Sheahan, who were acquired Friday in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann, did not play in a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators that night.

Vegas will be looking to end a three-game losing streak and is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. They have not lost four straight games this season, and did not lose four straight at any point during the regular season in 2017-18.


Players to watch

Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past 14 games.

Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov has four assists during his current three-point streak.


They said it

"We went on a good streak there for a little while in January. We were playing some good hockey. Then we're still playing good hockey and we lost some games and it starts to creep in that you're not playing well and then you come out with a game like Friday where you don't have it for the whole game." -- Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt

"I'm super excited to be here. Waking up and seeing the sun, it was awesome. I feel like our team is really close here. We're obviously in a big playoff push. Me and Riley (Sheahan) are going to try to come in here and try to help the team." -- Panthers forward Derick Brassard


Golden Knights projected lineup

Reilly Smith -- William Karlsson -- Jonathan Marchessault

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tuch

Brandon Pirri -- Cody Eakin -- Valentin Zykov

Tomas Nosek -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore -- Deryk Engelland

Jon Merrill -- Colin Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury

Maxime Lagace

Scratched: Jake Bischoff , Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Carpenter

Injured: Erik Haula (lower body), William Carrier (undisclosed), Nick Holden (undisclosed), Malcolm Subban (illness)


Panthers projected lineup

Frank Vatrano -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Vincent Trocheck - Denis Malgin

Henrik Borgstrom -- Derick Brassard -- Mike Hoffman

Colton Sceviour -- Riley Sheahan -- Jayce Hawryluk

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar -- Josh Brown

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Ian McCoshen , Troy Brouwer, Micheal Haley

Injured:  Derek MacKenzie (shoulder)


Status report

Neither team had a morning skate, although Brassard, Sheahan and the Panthers scratches were on the ice. Brassard is expected to be the center on the third line, and Sheahan likely will do so on the fourth line. … Smith played 15:16 and was minus-2 in his return Friday after missing seven games with an undisclosed injury. … Weegar will play after missing four games with a concussion.


Stat pack

Vegas is 11-for-11 on the penalty kill in its past five games. … The Golden Knights have scored two goals or fewer in four of their five past games. … Reimer is 4-1-2 in his past seven decisions.

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