LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Golden Knights have rebuilt their lead in the Pacific Division on the back of a 3-1 East Coast road trip that ended Monday night with a memorable win in Boston.
The New York Rangers come to T-Mobile Arena to take on the Knights Wednesday at 7 p.m. It’s an opportunity for the Knights to continue the momentum off wins in Detroit and Boston, but home ice has been a bit of a puzzle lately.
The Knights have a 6-point lead over the second-place Seattle Kraken, and getting back to winning ways on home ice is an important focus against the Rangers, who come in at 12-10-5. A letdown after the high emotion surrounding Monday’s win would be a setback.
Coach Bruce Cassidy had a big smile as he answered questions following the 4-3 overtime win over Boston, the team that fired him after six straight playoff appearances. He repeatedly said that he had a lot of respect for his players there. Breaking up Boston’s home winning streak didn’t mean as much as just getting the win. Cassidy said the streak was irrelevant.
“I’m used to hearing ‘Dirty Water’ at the end of the game, so I’m glad I didn’t hear it tonight,” Cassidy said.
The Knights have been able to score early but have given up leads in several games this year. Cassidy pointed to penalties as a primary reason the Knights have let other teams back into games. The Knights were without Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo, and both will miss tonight’s game against the Rangers.
Reilly Smith’s shootout goal followed a hard-fought game that looked like a matchup that could have been a preview to the NHL Stanley Cup Final.
“I would like to be here in the spring. Wouldn’t that be nice, eh? That would be two good hockey teams that are trending that way. A lot’s going to happen between now and then,” Cassidy said. “But you know us Joes, coaches, we’re focused on our next opponent, Wednesday night at home.”
Golden Knights vs. New York Rangers
Faceoff: 7 p.m., T-Mobile Arena
TV/Radio: AT&T Sportsnet/KKGK, 1340 AM, 98.9 FM
Records: Golden Knights 19-7-1; Rangers 12-10-5
Notes: Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo are out. Eichel Leads the team with 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists). Pietrangelo’s 21 points match fellow defenseman Shea Theodore. The Rangers are in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division and have lost four of their last six games. Artemi Panarin leads the team with 30 points.