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GAME DAY: Golden Knights close out 2018 against Coyotes

Updated December 30, 2018 - 4:18 pm

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Golden Knights close out 2018 when they battle the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday at Gila River Arena.

Opening faceoff is 5 p.m. Pacific time, and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.

This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Knights (22-15-4, 48 points), who earned a 4-1 victory Saturday at Los Angeles.

With a win over the Coyotes, the Knights would move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with Calgary at 50 points. The Flames have three games in hand on the Knights after Sunday.

The Knights picked up points in five straight games (3-0-2) and are 8-3-3 in December.

William Carrier scored against the Kings on Saturday in his first appearance on the third line. Paul Stastny had his second straight multipoint game with his father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, in attendance for the annual Father’s Trip.

Since returning from a knee injury on Dec. 14, Stastny has seven points in eight games (four goals, three assists).

Nate Schmidt owns a modest three-game point streak, and his pinpoint outlet pass in the third period on Saturday led to William Karlsson’s breakaway goal. Karlsson leads the Knights with 15 goals and 30 points in 41 games.

The Knights defeated Arizona 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 21 and are unbeaten in three appearances at Gila River Arena.

Arizona opens a four-game homestand and also is playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Coyotes (17-19-2, 36 points) topped host Anaheim 5-4 in overtime Saturday and have won three of their past four games.

Arizona is 3-0-0 in the second half of back-to-backs.

Darcy Kuemper will start in goal for the Coyotes after resting Saturday. He has a 1.62 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in two career appearances against the Knights.

Coyotes center Brad Richardson, who leads the team with 10 goals, will miss his third consecutive game with the flu.

Arizona’s Rick Tocchet is seeking his 100th career NHL coaching victory (99-129-40).

Golden Knights projected lineup

Forwards

Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith

Brandon Pirri-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch

Oscar Lindberg-Cody Eakin-Ryan Carpenter

William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves

Defensemen

Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland

Brad Hunt-Nick Holden

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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