Golden knights vs sharks
Photo Credit: San Diego Tribune

FSM Essential Preview: Golden Knights vs. Sharks Game 26

Franchise Sports Media

 

 

T-Mobile Arena will be buzzing with the energy that Vegas Golden Knights fans bring to games as the VGK return home for a matchup against their divisional rivals the San Jose Sharks.

 

Golden Knights vs Sharks
Photo Credit: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today’s morning skate in Vegas gave us a preview for a possible lineup change tonight, as well as some information regarding Robin Lehner and his impending return. Chandler Stephenson was not on the ice for the morning skate, and it appears that he may be a game-time decision for tonight’s matchup. If he were not able to participate in tonight’s matchup, there is a chance that Cody Glass could go from being a healthy scratch to being the 1C, at least for a night. Glass is the VGK’s first player acquired through a regular draft, so that adds some pressure of its own. If he is able to slot into the first line center spot and do a good job, I’m sure it would be a welcome sight to see for fans and coaches alike.

 

One player that was on the ice for the morning skate though was goalie Robin Lehner, who has been sidelined since beating the LA Kings on February 7th.

 

VGK vs Ducks
Photo Credit: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

The return of Lehner is something that many have been wondering about as he has been on long-term injured reserve for quite some time now, and updates on his status have been vague. The fact that he is back on the ice with his team is encouraging and suggests that a return to play is probably coming soon. While Marc Andre Fleury has been absolutely outstanding this whole season, I’m sure that some much-needed time off will be appreciated as the Knights prepare for a playoff run with expectations that they will be playing into June.

Considering the workload that Fleury has had placed on him, it is reasonable to expect that it is taking a toll on him physically, especially with his style of play that is almost acrobatic like in nature. Having a reliable backup is going to be crucial in the last half of the season as the schedule is going to tighten up, and we will see fewer days off between games and plenty of back-to-backs. The plan from the beginning of the season has been that the VGK has two starting netminders, so it will be interesting to see if head coach Peter DeBoer goes back to the 50/50 split they did to start the season.

 

The Golden Knights will take on the Sharks for the fourth time this season tonight and will look to continue the dominance of their Northern California rivals.

 

The VGK has handled the Sharks pretty easily so far this season and has averaged 4 goals per game against them while averaging only 1.7 goals given up per game, with one game being a shutout. Those numbers are indicative of the season series so far, as the Sharks have only looked competitive in their overtime loss to the Knights on March 5th. I am sure this has been great to see for Knights fans as the Sharks are the only team in the division to have beat Vegas in a playoff series and are tied 1-1 regarding playoff series record. The saying goes that it is not a rivalry until both teams have won a playoff series against each other; that being said, Vegas looks to be the dominant rival so far in their short history. Tonight they have an opportunity to continue that dominance.

 

The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play this evening taking on the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be on AT&T Sportsnet and FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340.

 

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-D.J. Wood– Franchise Sports Media

Follow D.J. on Twitter @DJwoody97

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