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|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00 BRT, December 15, 2019
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Attendance: 18,066
Knights host Canucks, hoping to build on tough win
After rallying to earn a split of a tough back-to-back at St. Louis and Dallas, the Vegas Golden Knights open a brief two-game homestand on Sunday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks in Las Vegas.
Vegas returns home with just a two-point lead over the Minnesota Wild, who visit T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday night, for the second wild-card slot in the Western Conference, and a three-point advantage over the Canucks. But the Golden Knights have played two more games than both of those teams.
The Golden Knights, plagued by inconsistent play most of the season, are just 8-6-3 at home this season. But they come in with some momentum after bouncing back from a 4-2 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Stars on Friday night.
Max Pacioretty scored 51 seconds into the extra session to win it after Vegas had coughed up a 2-1 lead with 5:11 left in regulation, when Jamie Benn deflected a Tyler Seguin pass past Malcolm Subban.
Pacioretty's goal came on a breakaway after a stretch pass from defenseman Shea Theodore.
"It's huge," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "(Dallas) is one of the better teams in the league the last 20 games or so. They had an unbelievable record and are playing really well. Hopefully it gives us a lot of confidence going back home."
"Big two points," added Chandler Stephenson, whose goal off a Pacioretty feed had given Vegas a 2-1 lead late in the second period. "To win it in overtime, it's obviously huge. And in a back-to-back is tough. Going home with an extra point is what we were looking for tonight."
Pacioretty leads the team in points (30) and is tied for the lead in goals (13) and assists (17). He has also scored a goal in three straight games.
"He's playing really good," Gallant said. "He's getting chances every night. 'Patch' can skate and shoot the puck real well, so he's doing his job really good. That was a huge goal for our team."
Vancouver has dropped two of its last three games, including a 4-2 loss at San Jose on Saturday night in the front half of a back-to-back. The Canucks return home after Sunday's game to begin a five-game homestand that includes another game against the Golden Knights on Thursday.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has started three consecutive games since returning from a leave of absence to attend a memorial service for his father in Sweden, and he hinted he could be back in the nets Sunday.
Markstrom gave up only two goals against the Sharks while making 23 saves -- San Jose had two empty-net goals -- and was brilliant in a 1-0 overtime victory over Carolina on Thursday when he stopped 43 shots.
"They want me to play, I'll play," Markstrom said. "You know I love playing hockey, and I love battling out there with the guys. It's a big game tomorrow. ... I could play every day. No practice, play every day and call it. That would be great."
--Field Level Media
Updated December 15, 2019