Striking Gold: Previewing the Lightning vs Golden Knights Matchup

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who sit in third in the league, have a 29-10-5 record and will be facing off against the Vegas Golden Knights, who sit in thirteenth in the league, have a 25-16-3 record. Both teams have great offensive depth, and can hold it down on defense pretty well.

The Lightning have had a lot of recent success, while the Golden Knights have not, winning only three out of their last ten games. The Lightning, however, have won the eight of their last ten games.

Top Players:

Both teams have played great, but as of late, the Lightning have played much better, beating some of the top teams in the league while the Golden Knights just can’t seem to catch a break. They have had a few lopsided loses lately to some of the best in the league, and even going into overtime against Montreal. Many players have helped with both teams success, but these are the top three players in points for both teams, starting with the Lightning.

Steven Stamkos: 20G 31A 51P
Victor Hedman: 9G 36A 45P
Alex Killorn: 14G 26A 40P

The offense on the Lightning has been stronger than ever, with the return of Nikita Kucherov causing a massive shift in offensive play. Kucherov sits at 17 points in 11 games, one of the best PPG in the league. With the offense playing so strong these last 10 games, it should be enough to get a few past Robin Lehner. But without Kucherov tonight, Ondrej Palat will slot into Kucherov’s spot on the top line.

The defense has been strong as of late, letting very few shots get to Andrei Vasilevskiy. While Vasilevskiy may not be playing as strong as he usually does, the defense has come in clutch, making sure teams don’t get many chances at getting the puck towards the net.

Now for the Golden Knights.

Chandler Stephenson: 12G 26A 38P
Shea Theodore: 8G 23A 31P
Jonathan Marchessault: 19G 11A 30P

The offense for the Golden Knights has struggled with the losses of key players like Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. Once players get healthy, including Jack Eichel in the next few weeks, there should be a massive shift in the way this Knights offense plays.

The defense has been solid, but has definitely had its struggles throughout the year. Consistency is an issue with the defense on this star studded Golden Knights team, but injuries have caused issues with that over the season. It’s hard to tell how the defense will play, so Golden Knights fans will just have to pray for now.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (2.25 GAA, .922% save) has had his struggles recently, but seems to be doing better now. He should be starting in net for the Lightning, while Robin Lehner (2.82 GAA, .908% save) should be in net for the Golden Knights. He’s been the best goaltender for the Knights this season, but the lasting effects of losing Marc-Andre Fleury is showing bad, as Lehner has struggled as a starter, especially while taking over for a future Hall of Fame starting goaltender.


Score: 3-1 Lightning
Shots: 36 Lightning/31 Golden Knights

Top Performer: Corey Perry (0G 2A 2P)
Overall Performance: A


The Lightning beat the Golden Knights earlier this season, but not without it’s issues. Now with the struggles the Golden Knights have faced, it’s a lot easier to see the Lightning winning. As long as Vasilevskiy plays as well as fans hope he does, this should be a good win for the Lightning that will put them tied for first place in the league.