ST. LOUIS — The Golden Knights end their two-game road trip Thursday when they meet the struggling St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.
Opening faceoff is 5 p.m. Pacific time, and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
“It’s always a goal to be .500 or better on the road, so it’s an important game for us,” forward Reilly Smith said. “We can’t end this road trip with less than two points, and I think that’s our mindset going into it.”
Defenseman Brad Hunt will replace Jon Merrill in the lineup after the latter struggled in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Nashville.
Hunt, who played nine games with the Blues during the 2016-17 season, will make his fourth appearance this season and first since Oct. 24 against Vancouver.
Marc-Andre Fleury earns the start in net for the Knights (5-6-1, 11 points).
“I don’t care if we have 60 shots or something at the end of the night,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “We need those two points.”
St. Louis (3-4-3, 9 points) sits last in the rugged Central Division and are tied with Ottawa for 29th in the league in goals allowed per game (3.90).
The Knights will see a familiar face on the other side in forward David Perron, who helped the expansion club reach the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season.
Perron was third on the Knights in scoring and has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 10 games after signing a four-year, $16 million contract with St. Louis as an unrestricted free agent.
“It was like our group last year. Everybody was fired up to play their old team,” coach Gerard Gallant said of facing Perron. “He’s got a good start to the season, and good for David. He’s played real well.”
St. Louis coach Mike Yeo confirmed goaltender Jake Allen will start against the Knights. He left Saturday’s 7-3 victory over Chicago in the second period following a collision in the crease.
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch-Erik Haula-Tomas Hyka
Tomas Nosek-Cody Eakin-Ryan Carpenter
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb-Colin Miller
Nick Holden-Brad Hunt