The Golden Knights look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals when they meet the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff for Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
“It’s a big chance for us,” left wing Jonathan Marchessault said. “We gained home-ice advantage when we won Game 2 over there, so we definitely need to take advantage of that. We’ve got to be ready. They’re a great team. One good game like we had last game, it doesn’t matter anymore. We’ve got to keep going forward.”
The Knights, who are the first franchise in NHL history to hold a lead in each of its first five playoff series, are coming off a 6-3 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.
Right wing Mark Stone recorded the first postseason hat trick in franchise history and leads the league with six goals in three games.
Linemate Paul Stastny with Stone for the league lead in scoring with eight points (two goals, six assists).
Stastny and Stone are the third set of teammates in the past 30 years to record at least five points in the same playoff game, joining Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen (Detroit in 2010) and Wayne Gretzky, Tomas Sandstrom and Tony Granato (Los Angeles in 1990).
The line of Stone, Stastny and left wing Max Pacioretty have combined for 22 points in the series.
Center Cody Eakin did not participate in the optional morning skate at City National Arena but will play, according to coach Gerard Gallant. The Knights lineup is expected to remain the same from the past two games.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (2-1, 3.35 goals-against average, .897 save percentage) made 25 saves in Game 3 and can move into seventh place on the all-time wins list.
“Everyone knows where we’re at right now, but every game in the playoffs is so important,” said left wing William Carrier, who finished with a game-high 11 hits Sunday. “We just have to make sure we play 60 minutes. Don’t fall asleep for two, three minutes because they’ll get a couple goals. Put in a good 60 minutes and we should be all right.”
San Jose will be without center Joe Thornton, who was suspended for one game because of his check to the head of Knights forward Tomas Nosek during Game 3.
That will force coach Peter DeBoer to shuffle his top forward lines, with Joe Pavelski moving to center between wings Gustav Nyquist and Marcus Sorensen.
Also on the fourth line, Lukas Radil will replace Micheal Haley, who left Game 3 with a lower-body injury after blocking a shot.
Goaltender Martin Jones (1-1, 5.24 GAA, .849 SP) will start for the Sharks after struggling the past two games.
Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic remains a game-time decision, but is expected to miss his second straight game.
“Obviously for them there’s going to be a couple new guys in the lineup,” Marchessault said. “But for us it doesn’t change. We’ve got to stay discliplined, play the right way and if we stay 5-on-5, we’re normally a successful team.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Tomas Nosek-Cody Eakin-Alex Tuch
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt-Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb-Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller