Their next game, scheduled for April 28 will come against their biggest competition for the Honda West Division crown: the Colorado Avalanche.
The teams have split the season series thus far, with the Golden Knights picking up three wins in six meetings. Max Pacioretty leads the VGK in scoring against the Avs with four goals and an assist (five points in six games). William Karlsson has recorded four assists in the six games played as well. Marc-Andre Fleury has played all six games against the Avalanche. He has recorded two shutouts and posted a 2.16 GAA and an average save percentage of .927% in those games.
While the Golden Knights have been hot as of late, so have the Avalanche. Prior to their season being paused once again due to COVID protocols, the Avalanche had lost just one of their previous 15 games in regulation (three losses overall during that time span). That streak catapulted the Avs to the top of the Honda West Division for the first time all season. Nathan Mackinnon, the star center for the Avs, enters the game Wednesday riding a 14-game point streak (nine goals, 16 assists, 25 points in 14 games played).
Both teams will be short-handed going into Wednesday night’s match up. Colorado will be without both Rantanen and Phillip Grubauer, who both are out due to COVID-19 (per CBS Sports). Branon Saad will also miss this game due to a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights are also without both Tomas Nosek and Nicolas Roy, who both sustained injuries April 24 against Anaheim.
The key to victory for the VGK will be what it has been all season long: contain the top-line of Colorado. All eyes will be on Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez, who will most likely draw a majority of their shifts against this line and will be expected to shut them down. The VGK have managed to somewhat keep that line in check. Nathan Mackinnon has only recorded two goals and three assists in their six games played. Gabriel Landeskog and Rantanen only five points between the two of them as well.
The depth of the Golden Knights will be significantly tested as well. Colorado boasts one of the best bottom-six forward groups in the entire league, and they have done damage to the Golden Knights this season. The Golden Knights have not gotten much production out of their bottom-six in these games, and it might prove to be a struggle with both Nosek and Roy out.
Mark Stone will also need to get his offensive game going if the VGK want to have their best opportunity to win. Stone has been absolutely dominant for the Golden Knights this season but has struggled to produce offensively against Colorado. In their six games played, he only has two assists.
The final key to the game is eliminating bad turnovers. This is something that the Golden Knights have struggled with all season long, especially against Colorado.
With a win in that game, the Golden Knights have the ability to go up by six points in the standings with the Avalanche having only one game in hand. With eight of their next nine games against teams that are either in the playoffs or fighting for the final spot, every win counts for the Golden Knights.
Tune into the game Wednesday, April 28 at 6:30 P.M. on NBC Sports.