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game preview

Golden Knights at Jets preview

Vegas can extend division lead with 10th win in 11 games; Winnipeg tries to gain in wild-card race

by Darrin Bauming / Independent Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (37-23-8) at JETS (34-28-6)



The Game

The Vegas Golden Knights look to win for the 10th time in 11 games and extend their lead in the Pacific Division when they visit the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Friday.

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Golden Knights, who are 12-3-1 in their past 16 games and are two points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers in the division.

Connor Hellebuyck is expected to start for the Jets, who are tied with the Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, and Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Winnipeg is 2-3-1 in its past six games after going 7-2-1 in its previous 10 games.


Players to watch

Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 5-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and two shutouts in his past six starts.

Jets forward Kyle Connor has five goals during a four-game goal streak.


They said it

"Their top line (Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler) is as good as they come. I don't think there's any better line right now, and it's on us to limit time and options. they have good goaltending. They play the right way. They're always in the mix. They're a really good team so it's on us bring what brought us success in the past month or so and bring it on the road." -- Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault

"They're on a pretty good roll right now and they've got a pretty lethal lineup up front. They've got a bunch of lines that can put the puck in the back of the net. They play a hard game. They have some defensemen who jump up in the rush and they've got really solid goaltending." -- Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Paul Stastny -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- William Karlsson -- Nicolas Roy

Chandler Stephenson -- Nick Cousins -- Brandon Pirri

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Alec Martinez -- Shea Theodore

Nick Holden -- Zach Whitecloud

Robin Lehner

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Deryk Engelland, Jon Merrill

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


Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Cody Eakin -- Patrik Laine

Jansen Harkins -- Andrew Copp -- Jack Roslovic

Mathieu Perreault -- Nicholas Shore -- Mason Appleton

Josh Morrissey -- Dylan DeMelo

Dmitry Kulikov -- Neal Pionk

Nathan Beaulieu -- Tucker Poolman

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Logan Shaw, Anthony Bitetto, Gabriel Bourque

Injured: Mark Letestu (upper body), Bryan Little (upper body), Carl Dahlstrom (upper body), Adam Lowry (upper body), Luca Sbisa (upper body), Sami Niku (lower body)


Status report

Perreault returns to the lineup after missing 16 games with an upper-body injury. He will replace Bourque.


Stat pack

The Golden Knights are 13-4-2 since Pete DeBoer was named coach on Jan. 15. … Wheeler has four assists during a three-game point streak. … Vegas plays 10 of its final 14 regular season games on the road, where they are 15-12-4 this season. … Karlsson has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past five games. … Scheifele has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

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