DETROIT — The Golden Knights wrap up their four-game road trip Thursday when they play the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Opening faceoff is 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, and the game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
This will be the first meeting of the season between the teams.
“You look at their record and they’re at the bottom of the pack in their division, but they’re a good hockey team,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “Again, there’s no games you come into and say, ‘Well, you’re going to win this game.’ You’ve got to play your best to win no matter who you’re playing, and Detroit’s a good team. They work hard, they’ll compete hard, and they’re doing a good job, especially lately.”
The Knights (30-21-4, 64 points) are coming off a 3-2 shootout victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, which snapped their franchise-long, four-game losing streak.
Gallant is expected to make two changes to the lineup, with Tomas Nosek replacing injured Ryan Carpenter.
Carpenter was hurt late in the second period when he was driven into the boards by the Lightning’s Cedric Paquette and had to be helped off the ice. Gallant said Wednesday that Carpenter was “doing real good,” though he did not participate in Thursday’s morning skate.
Also, Gallant said winger Oscar Lindberg will draw in, with Brandon Pirri expected to be a healthy scratch.
Lindberg has two goals and nine points in 28 games. Pirri has not recorded a point in six straight games after his hot start with the club and owns a minus-3 rating in that span.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (28-15-4, 2.49 goals-against average, .911 save percentage) will start for the Knights.
The Red Wings (21-25-7, 49 points) are seventh in the Atlantic Division but have won three straight and come in well rested after not playing since a 2-0 win at Ottawa on Saturday.
Leading scorer Dylan Larkin (strained oblique) is a game-time decision, and rookie Michael Rasumssen (hamstring) is expected to play his first game since Jan. 4 after he was recalled from Thursday from his three-game conditioning stint in the American Hockey League.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard (15-13-5, 2.73 GAA, .916 SP) is scheduled to start for the Red Wings.
“They’ve got a lot of speed up front, and their speed comes with skill, too,” Knights forward Ryan Reaves said. “If you don’t eliminate their speed and play them physical and get in their face, they’re going to blow by you. They’ve got a lot of guys that can blow by everybody and go on a 2-on-1 or on a breakaway, so you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of that.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Valentin Zykov
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch
Oscar Lindberg-Cody Eakin-Reilly Smith
Tomas Nosek-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller