New York Rangers (22-8-4, first in the Metropolitan) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (22-13-1, first in the Pacific)
Paradise, Nevada; Thursday, 7 p.m. PST
BOTTOM LINE: Artemi Panarin leads New York into a matchup against Vegas. He currently ranks 10th in the NHL with 36 points, scoring 10 goals and recording 26 assists.
The Golden Knights are 11-8-1 at home. Vegas leads the league with six shorthanded goals, led by Reilly Smith with two. The game marks the return of two of the Knights most popular figures. Head coach Gerard Gallant and forward Ryan Reaves who are now with the New York Rangers.
The Rangers are 12-5-2 in road games. New York is eighth in the Eastern Conference recording 7.8 points per game, averaging 2.9 goals and 4.9 assists.
Vegas knocked off New York 3-2 in the last meeting between these teams on Dec. 17.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jonathan Marchessault leads the Golden Knights with 16 goals and has 24 points. Chandler Stephenson has one goal and 11 assists over the last 10 games for Vegas.
Adam Fox leads the Rangers with 30 total assists and has 35 points. Mika Zibanejad has seven goals and three assists over the last 10 games for New York.
LAST 10 GAMES: Golden Knights: 7-2-1, averaging 3.8 goals, 6.5 assists, 3.8 penalties and 10.7 penalty minutes while giving up 2.9 goals per game with an .890 save percentage.
Rangers: 5-4-1, averaging 2.6 goals, 4.6 assists, 3.6 penalties and 8.1 penalty minutes while giving up 2.5 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.
INJURIES: Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty: out (wrist), Robin Lehner: day to day (lower body), Mark Stone: day to day (undisclosed).
Rangers: Jarred Tinordi: out (health protocols), Patrik Nemeth: out (covid-19), Artemi Panarin: out (covid-19).