NHL Hockey

5
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Vegas 2 1 2 5
Chicago 1 2 1 4
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5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 5, 2018
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 21,933

Knights aim to bounce back from rare loss

Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks

  1. Vegas dropped a 2-1 decision in St. Louis last night, snapping its franchise-record eight-game winning streak in the process. The Golden Knights have scored one goal or fewer just three times in 2017-18 -- fewest of any team in the league.
  2. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers, 5-2, at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, recording at least one point in each of their last three contests (2-0-1 record), and finishing up a season-long six-game road trip with a mark of 2-3-1 overall. Chicago has 24 home games remaining in 2017-18 -- most of any NHL club.
  3. The Golden Knights won their first all-time meeting with the Blackhawks, 4-2, at T-Mobile Arena on October 24. Vegas is looking to become the third team to go 2-0-0 or better vs. Chicago this season [also Dallas (3-0-0) and New Jersey (2-0-0)].
  4. Erik Haula potted the Golden Knights' lone goal last night, giving him two markers and a helper during a three-game point streak, and a career-high tying 15 goals on the year overall. Haula has seven points (4g, 3a) in his last seven skates against the Blackhawks.
  5. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist Wednesday night, giving him 13 points (7g, 6a) in his last 10 games, and 40 points on the season overall. Kane lit the lamp once in these clubs' first meeting of the year.
  6. Vegas is 4-3-0 in the second of back-to-back games this season. Chicago is 6-3-0 when taking on teams in the second of back-to-backs in 2017-18.

For the first time in more than a month, the Vegas Golden Knights will try to bounce back from a loss in regulation time.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks are focused on building their own extended point streak.

Chicago (19-14-6) will host Vegas (27-10-2) on Friday night for the teams' second meeting and their first at the United Center. The Blackhawks have earned at least one point in three consecutive games (2-0-1), while the Golden Knights will look to move past a hard-fought 2-1 loss one night earlier against the St. Louis Blues.

The defeat snapped an eight-game win streak for Vegas, which is 12-1-1 in its past 14 contests. The expansion team's hot start has taken the league by surprise and set the stage for what could be a dramatic run toward the postseason.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I thought we'd be in first place," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said to the Chicago Daily Herald. "Nobody would have believed me. I really didn't have expectations.

"I knew we had some good players from the expansion draft. I knew we had good goaltending. And we had a lot of depth and guys who compete and work hard. It's all come together obviously and that's why we're winning."

So is Chicago, at least lately, thanks partly to the unexpected emergence of 32-year-old goaltender Jeff Glass. An upper-body injury to top netminder Corey Crawford prompted the Blackhawks to promote Glass from the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, and he has risen to the occasion by going 2-0-1 with a 2.98 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in his first three NHL starts.

The Blackhawks are led in scoring by Patrick Kane, who has 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 39 games. Rookie sharpshooter Alex DeBrincat (13 goals), captain Jonathan Toews (11) and Nick Schmaltz (eight) are next with 26 points apiece.

Toews has been particularly effective of late. He has a goal and an assist in each of his past two games.

"When your best players lead the charge, your team's going to be dangerous every night," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Vegas could turn to Malcolm Subban in net less than 24 hours after the Blues pelted Fleury with 39 shots on goal. Subban, who is the younger brother of Nashville Predators All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, is 10-2-0 on the season with a 2.25 GAA and .922 save percentage. He never has faced the Blackhawks.

If Fleury remains in net for the second night in a row, he will look to improve upon his already stellar 8-2-1 record. His career statistics against the Blackhawks include a 5-5-5 record with a 2.60 GAA and .917 save percentage.

An explosive offense has helped both Golden Knights goaltenders establish dominant records. Vegas is led in scoring by newly re-signed center Jonathan Marchessault, who has 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games. William Karlsson is next on the team with 33 points (20 goals, 13 assists), and David Perron is third with 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists).

Updated January 5, 2018

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