For the first time in over two years, the Vegas Golden Knights will square off with the New York Rangers. While this interconference matchup might not look like anything special on paper, it represents Gerard Gallant’s first game coaching against the Golden Knights. As the team’s first head coach, Gallant led Vegas to a Pacific Division title and Western Conference Championship in the team’s inaugural season back in 2017-18. A bitter first round playoff loss to the San Jose Sharks followed in 2018-19, and Gallant was fired midway through 2019-20 and replaced by Pete DeBoer, who still stands behind Vegas’ bench today.
Whether or not revenge is on his mind, Gallant will look to lead his new team to a victory over a Golden Knights squad that hasn’t played up to their potential quite yet. While their 18-11-0 record is far from bad, Vegas hasn’t been the puck dominant team they’ve been in recent seasons. Having played against the New Jersey Devils and winning 5-3 last night, this is another two points the Blueshirts can’t afford to lose.
Player to Watch: Barclay Goodrow
If the 2019 playoff loss against San Jose was the beginning of the end for Gallant’s time in Vegas, Goodrow played a critical role in that. The Sharks recovered from a 3-1 series deficit as well as a 3-0 third period deficit in Game 7 to send things into overtime. Goodrow scored the series clinching goal for San Jose, ending Vegas’ season. Keep an eye on Goodrow tonight as he looks to torment the Golden Knights once again.
Enjoy the game!