The Golden Knights finish their four-game homestand Saturday when they face the Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
The most recent meeting between the Western Conference rivals on Jan. 23 featured a high-profile incident in the second period when Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban accused Knights center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of biting his finger.
If Subban wants to make a scene again he will have to go through his brother Malcolm, who is making his first start in net since Jan. 6 for the Knights. Subban has a 2.95 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage in eight games this season.
The Knights (31-24-4, 66 points) have lost three games in a row overall and seven of their past nine following Thursday’s 6-3 setback against Toronto. Their current five-game home losing streak is a franchise record.
“I think they play a well-structured game,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said of the Predators. “They have amazing players. They’re a Stanley Cup contender again. Great defensemen. They’re the whole package. They’re a great team so we definitely have to be ready again.”
Gallant changed two of his forward lines at Friday’s practice, swapping left wings Max Pacioretty and Brandon Pirri, and is expected to stick with the look against the Predators.
Nashville (34-21-5, 73 points) is two points behind Winnipeg for the lead in the Central Division and halted a three-game losing streak Thursday with a 3-1 victory over Montreal.
Forward Brian Boyle scored his first goal in the win since he was acquired by the Predators from New Jersey on Feb. 6.
Center Ryan Johansen extended his point streak to a season-long six games, and he leads the Predators with 53 points (11 goals, 42 assists).
Right wing Viktor Arvidsson has a team-high 26 goals in 36 games, and scored 18 goals since he returned from a broken thumb on Dec. 27.
Defenseman Mattias Ekholm, the team’s third-leading scorer with 40 points, missed Thursday’s game due to illness. He participated in the Predators’ morning skate Saturday.
Nashville’s projected starting goaltender is Juuse Saros, who is 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average and .983 save percentage against the Knights. He had a career-high 47 saves in a 2-1 win at T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 23.
”He was the difference in that game,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “That game, it wasn’t soft shots. It was a lot of 2-on-1s. He made some great saves.”
This is the final meeting between the teams in the regular season, and Nashville can sweep the season series.
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Brandon Pirri-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch
Max Pacioretty-Cody Eakin-Oscar Lindberg
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller