NHL On Tap: Golden Knights try for fifth straight win to start season

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Welcome to the NHL on Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the eight games on Friday.

Golden Knights look to extend hot start

The Vegas Golden Knights will seek to improve to 5-0-0 for the first time in their history with a win in the third of four consecutive games against the Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV). This meeting will be at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, after the Golden Knights won the first two games against the Coyotes at home. Vegas won 5-2 on Wednesday with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scoring his first goal since signing with Vegas in the offseason, and forward Mark Stone scoring the game-winning goal to extend his season-opening point streak to four games (two goals, five assists). Imagine how good the Golden Knights can be once they start putting together complete games. They’ve been tied or trailed entering the third period in three of their four wins. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Lafreniere, Rangers vs. Crosby, Penguins

I’m excited to see Alexis Lafreniere face Sidney Crosby for the first time when the New York Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV). Lafreniere, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and Crosby, a two-time Hart Trophy winner voted as NHL MVP, each played for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and are that league’s only back-to-back MVP winners. Lafreniere looks to score his first NHL point in this MassMutual East Division game. Crosby leads Pittsburgh in scoring with five points (three goals, two assists) in four games, including the game-winning goal in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday that capped a two-game sweep against their division rival. — William Douglas, staff writer

Stars play their first game

It’s been a long wait for the Dallas Stars, whose first four regular-season games were postponed because of their COVID-19 outbreak. But they’ll start their season Friday when they play the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-SW+, FS-TN, NHL.TV). It’s a welcome day for the Stars, who enter the season with high hopes after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the Stanley Cup Final. Sure, Dallas probably will have some rust against Nashville, which has played three games, but it returns most of its players from last season, and that familiarity should help. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

Friday schedule

Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSWA+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Ilya Samsonov will not play for the Capitals, each quarantining in accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols.

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET (NHLN, SNE, SNP, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV)

The Rangers begin a four-game road trip with the first of two games at the Penguins before traveling to Buffalo to play two games against the Sabres.

Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, TSN4, SNW, NHL.TV)

The Oilers eye a second consecutive win at the Maple Leafs after a 3-1 victory Wednesday.

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSCH, FS-D, NHL.TV)

The Blackhawks look for their first win of the season after three losses in regulation and a 5-4 loss in overtime to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

San Jose Sharks at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. ET (FS-N, FS-WI, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

The Wild play their first home game after going 3-1-0 on a season-opening four-game road trip.

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-SW+, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

The Predators have shut out the Stars in each of their last two games dating to last season. They never have shut out an opponent in three consecutive games.

Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET (FS-A PLUS, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun has scored at least one point in each of the first four games this season and has five points (one goal, four assists) for the Coyotes, who have lost two straight.

Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET (SN, FS-W, ALT2, NHL.TV)

The Avalanche look to bounce back after losing 4-2 at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

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