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GAME DAY: Golden Knights put 4-game win streak on line

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Golden Knights put their four-game win streak on the line against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at Rogers Arena.

Opening faceoff is 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.

The Knights are coming off an 8-3 pasting of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday to open their three-game road trip, but had plenty to clean up from the victory.

“I want us to come out and compete hard and be first on pucks a lot and play the game real well,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ve had a good streak here lately and we’ve played real good hockey, so just continue what we’re doing.”

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who celebrated his 34th birthday Wednesday, made several key stops in the first period in Chicago. Notably, he was forced to fully extend his legs to stop Dylan Strome on a 3-on-1.

Fleury will start Thursday, as the Knights go with the same lineup for the third consecutive game.

Center Cody Eakin had two goals against the Blackhawks and is tied for the team lead with Jonathan Marchessault. Eakin has 10 goals and 16 points after logging 11 goals and 27 points in 80 games last season.

The second line has carried much of the offensive load during the Knights’ recent run, with left wing Max Pacioretty riding a six-game points streak (6-3-9). Right wing Alex Tuch has a point in four straight (3-4-7).

Jacob Markstrom is expected to start in net for Vancouver, which is 2-7-1 in its past 10 games and has fallen out of a playoff spot following a strong start.

Bo Horvat leads Vancouver with 22 points and scored two goals in the Canucks’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Knights on Oct. 24 at T-Mobile Arena.

He was skating on a line with one-time Golden Knight Brendan Leipsic and Jake Virtanen during the Canucks morning skate.

Standout rookie Elias Pettersson is centering right wing Brock Boeser.

“They’re going to be quick, they’re going to be fast,” Gallant said. “They’ve got their young players excited and they’re getting a lot healthier than they were the last couple of weeks. I think they’re going to play a fast game.

“We’ve got to be ready for them. We know they’re a good, young team when they possess the puck real well. Their young talent is something special.”

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson practiced for the Canucks but will not play, according to coach Travis Green.

Injured center Jay Beagle also returned to practice for the first time since he suffered a fractured forearm Oct. 13 in a game against Florida. There is no timetable for his return, however.

“It’s good to see him back out on the ice,” Green said.

Golden Knights projected lineup

Forwards

Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty-Cody Eakin-Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek-Ryan Carpenter-Daniel Carr

William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves

Defensemen

Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland

Nick Holden-Colin Miller

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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