Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Vancouver at Vegas
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, February 23, 2018
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

Seemingly setting a milestone every time they take the ice, particularly at home, the Vegas Golden Knights resume their pursuit of the Presidents' Trophy when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night. Vegas already holds the record for victories by an expansion club and set the mark for most home wins (23) by a first-year team last time out.

"It's a great accomplishment so far," said Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant, noting the team has loftier goals that go beyond expansion records. "We've got another six weeks to play and that's what the goal is, battle hard, get as many points and see what happens April 7." Vegas owns the best record in the Western Conference thanks in large part to its stellar play at T-Mobile Arena, where the club is an NHL-leading 23-5-2. While the Golden Knights sit atop the Pacific Division, the Canucks are languishing 31 points behind them as they prepare to open a three-game road trip. Vancouver followed up perhaps its best performances of the season with a crushing defeat, blowing a three-goal lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to Colorado.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), AT&T Sportsnet-Rocky Mountain (Vegas)

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (23-30-7): After flattening red-hot Boston 6-1, Vancouver erupted for four second-period goals against Colorado before unraveling due to an inept penalty kill. The Canucks allowed four unanswered goals and allowed the Avalanche to convert on five of six chances with the man advantage, the third time in franchise history they surrendered five power-play tallies. "I've never been part of a game where you score four goals, and don't give up an even-strength goal, and lose," coach Travis Green said.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (40-16-4): Forward Reilly Smith scored for the fourth time in five games in Wednesday's 7-3 rout of Calgary, becoming the fifth player on the team to reach 20 goals and continuing a hot streak that has seen him produce 14 points in nine games. Ryan Carpenter had one assist in 16 games before he was waived by San Jose, but he has caught fire with Vegas, scoring all six of his goals in the past nine games. The Golden Knights continue to sizzle on the power play with 16 goals in 15 games.

OVERTIME

1. The Golden Knights are 25-3-0 when they score the game's opening goal.

2. Canucks C Bo Horvat has scored in four of the last five games and also tallied in a 5-2 loss to Vegas on Nov. 16.

3. Vegas F James Neal and D Shea Theodore did not practice Thursday but are getting closer to returning, Gallant said.

PREDICTION: Golden Knights 5, Canucks 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Vancouver 23-30-4-3 L1 11-15-3-1 12-15-1-2 2-0-0-1 21-30-4-2 5-10-1-0
Vegas 40-16-2-2 W1 23-5-1-1 17-11-1-1 11-1-0-0 29-15-2-2 15-2-1-0
Last Meeting
Vancouver Vegas
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/16/17 VEG 5 VAN 2 21 25 0-2 30 19 0-0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 1
Vegas E. Haula 2
Goals Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 1
Vegas E. Haula 1
Assists Player  
Vancouver S. Gagner 1
Vegas E. Haula 1
Saves Player  
Vancouver J. Markstrom 25
Vegas M. Lagace 19
Season
Total Points Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 57
Vegas J. Marchessault 60
Goals Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 31
Vegas W. Karlsson 31
Assists Player  
Vancouver H. Sedin 36
Vegas D. Perron 42
Saves Player  
Vancouver J. Markstrom 1173
Vegas M. Fleury 888
Quickchart Matchup
Vancouver Off vs  Vegas Def
2.68 GF
2.68 GA
30 Shots
30.2 Shots
41 PP
32 PK
Vegas Off vs  Vancouver Def
3.45 GF
3.18 GA
32.8 Shots
32.2 Shots
40 PP
48 PK