The Golden Knights return from the holiday break Thursday when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
The Knights are 1-0-2 on their four-game homestand and sit third in the Pacific Division at 20-15-4 (44 points). Their 39 games played is tied with Chicago and Vancouver for most in the league.
“The three days off was perfect timing for us,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We weren’t playing that good of hockey and I think it was the same for Colorado. They’ve been struggling, too. I’m expecting tonight will be two teams trying to feel each other out in the first period, or the first half of the first period, and then the players will start to feel better from the break.
“We played them well last year. It was a good series last year against them, so it should be fun.”
Left wing Brandon Pirri officially was recalled from the American Hockey League on Thursday and is expected to play against Colorado. Pirri has three goals and an assist in three games with the Knights.
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Max Pacioretty did not participate in the morning skate and remains on injured reserve.
Defenseman Colin Miller also was ruled out by Gallant and will miss his fourth consecutive with an undisclosed injury.
Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goaltender off the ice at morning skate and is the probable starter against Colorado.
The Avalanche (19-12-6, 44 points) are third in the Central Division and feature the NHL’s leading scorer, right wing Mikko Rantanen (16 goals, 43 assists, 59 points).
Center Nathan MacKinnon, who was voted the Central Division captain for the All-Star Game, is third in the league with 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists). Left wing Gabriel Landeskog is tied for third with 24 goals, including a league-best seven game-winners.
“They’re fast and they can make plays offensively,” defenseman Shea Theodore. “If we get caught as d-men, they’re going to make you pay for it. As a (defense) group and as a whole, we have to be good and we have to be sharp.”
Colorado is fifth in the league in goals per game at 3.49, but has lost two straight and is 3-6-1 in its past 10 games.
The Avalanche are 11-7-3 away from home and have the most away points (25) in the Western Conference and third-most in the NHL.
Philipp Grubauer, who was pulled in Saturday’s 6-4 loss at Arizona after he allowed four goals on 16 shots, is projected to start in net for the Avalanche.
Golden Knights projected lineup
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
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill-Nick Holden