Stars vs. Golden Knights
6:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, NHL.TV, SN1, ATTSN-RM, FS-SW
The Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights each play their first game of the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, on Monday.
The Stars were 1-0-1 against the Golden Knights during the regular season before it was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Dallas won 4-2 on Nov. 25; and the Golden Knights won 3-2 in overtime Dec. 13.
The round-robin, which also includes the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, will set the top four seeds for the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West.
“It counts now,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “You want the easiest path you can get, and the easiest path would be getting the first seed.”
Here are 3 keys to the start of the round-robin:
1. Pacioretty remains out
The Golden Knights will rely on their offensive depth in the absence of Max Pacioretty, their leading scorer with 32 goals and 66 points. He hasn’t traveled to Edmonton after missing the final four days of training camp but could rejoin the Golden Knights soon. DeBoer said Pacioretty “is on the horizon.” Chandler Stephenson will fill in for Pacioretty on the top line with William Karlsson and Mark Stone.
The third line, with left wing Nick Cousins, center Alex Tuch and right wing Nicolas Roy, combined for seven points (two goals, five assists) in Vegas’ 4-1 exhibition win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
“These games are crucial,” Cousins said. “We want to give ourselves the best chance possible and we want that top seed. I feel like they’re going to be really competitive.”
2. Seguin, Cogliano return
Forwards Tyler Seguin and Andrew Cogliano will play for the Stars. Seguin, Dallas’ leading scorer with 50 points (17 goals, 33 assists) in 69 games, was ruled unfit to play and missed its 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators in an exhibition game on Thursday. Cogliano left in the first period after a collision with Nashville defenseman Yannick Weber and didn’t return.
Seguin will center the top line with left wing Jamie Benn and right wing Denis Gurianov. Cogliano will be at left wing on the fourth line with center Radek Faksa and right wing Blake Comeau .
The Stars averaged 2.58 goals per game in the regular season, 26th in the NHL, and will need Seguin healthy and producing consistently.
3. Special-teams play
The Golden Knights had the ninth-best power play in the League (22.0 percent) but ranked 27th on the penalty kill (76.6 percent). The Stars were 13th on the power play (21.1 percent) and 17th on the penalty kill (79.7 percent).
Vegas went 1-for-6 with the man advantage in its exhibition win against Arizona, went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and scored a shorthanded goal. The Stars went 0-for-3 on their power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill in their exhibition loss to Nashville.
Golden Knights projected lineup
Chandler Stephenson — William Karlsson — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — Paul Stastny — Reilly Smith
Nick Cousins — Alex Tuch — Nicolas Roy
William Carrier — Tomas Nosek — Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb — Nate Schmidt
Alec Martinez — Shea Theodore
Nick Holden — Zach Whitecloud
Unfit to play: Max Pacioretty
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Denis Gurianov
Mattias Janmark — Joe Pavelski — Alexander Radulov
Roope Hintz — Jason Dickinson — Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano — Radek Faksa — Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak — Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera — Stephen Johns
Unfit to play: None
Stars coach Rick Bowness declined to announce his starting goalie. Bishop saved 16 of 18 shots against Nashville. Khudobin saved all nine shots he faced. … DeBoer said Lehner will start for Vegas after Fleury started its exhibition game.