The Vegas Golden Knights will play the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Second Round.
Vegas, the No. 1 seed which is 7-1-0 this postseason, defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vancouver, the No. 5 seed, eliminated the St. Louis Blues, the defending Stanley Cup champion, in six games to advance.
Game 1 of the best-of-7 series will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
“They’re the No. 1 ranked team on this side, so we’ll have our hands full but we’ll be ready to go,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said.
Mark Stone (four goals, four assists) and Reilly Smith (three goals, five assists) lead the Golden Knights with eight points each this postseason. Shea Theodore (four goals, three assists) and Jonathan Marchessault (two goals, five assists) have each scored seven points, and Alex Tuch has scored four goals. Robin Lehner is 5-1-0 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. Marc-Andre Fleury is 2-0-0 with a 2.50 GAA and an .886 save percentage.
Elias Pettersson leads the Canucks with 13 points (four goals, nine assists), tied with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche for the most in the League. J.T. Miller (five goals, five assists) and Quinn Hughes (one goal, nine assists) each scored 10 points. Bo Horvat has scored six goals. Jacob Markstrom, who is tied for the playoff lead in wins with Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders, is 7-3-0 with a 2.44 GAA and .929 save percentage.
The Golden Knights were 1-0-1 against the Canucks, with 18 goals scored in the two games. Pacioretty (two goals, three assists) led Vegas with five points, and Stone (two goals, two assists) and Theodore (four assists) each scored four points. Marchessault and Nick Holden each scored two goals. Fleury started each game (3.96 GAA, .873 save percentage).
Brock Boeser led the Canucks with four points (one goal, three assists), and Pettersson (three goals) and Jake Virtanen (one goal, two assists) each scored three points against the Golden Knights. Markstrom started each game (1-1-0, 4.81 GAA, .890 save percentage).
“I think they’re a lot like St. Louis, they’re a veteran team and they come to the rink every day,” Boeser said. “They know the style of play that they want to play and they work extremely hard. Regardless, we’ve got to make sure that we come to the rink and keep brining that determination and that work ethic and I think we’ll be fine.”
Vegas and Vancouver have never played each other in the playoffs.