The Golden Knights look to snap a four-game home losing streak Thursday when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Valentine’s Day at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
“They’re a skilled and talented hockey team and they can score a lot of goals on your if you don’t play the right way,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “They’re a high-flying team and you’ve got to be aware, and you’ve got to manage the puck real well.”
The Knights (31-23-4, 66 points) have not won at home since Jan. 19 and were called out by Gallant for playing a “soft game” in their 5-2 loss to Arizona on Tuesday.
Gallant said his starting goaltender would be a game-time decision, but Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start as he chases his 30th victory. Fleury is 2-3 with a 2.99 goals-against average and .898 save percentage in February.
Winger Brandon Pirri missed Wednesday’s practice because of illness and Gallant said he will be one of “a couple” of game-time decisions for the Knights.
Defenseman Jake Bischoff and forwards Tomas Nosek and Valentin Zykov were on the ice for the Knights’ optional morning skate and look to be the scratches.
Toronto (35-18-3, 73 points) is second in the Eastern Conference standings behind Atlantic Division mate Tampa Bay and has won five of its past six.
The Maple Leafs are playing the fourth of a six-game road trip and own the league’s second-best road record at 18-7-2.
They scored three power-play goals in a 1:49 span of the second period Tuesday in a 5-2 victory at Colorado. Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri each had two goals, and Auston Matthews added three points against the Avalanche.
Center John Tavares has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past five games.
Toronto is fourth in the league at 3.57 goals per game, and Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland compared this game to the one against Tampa Bay on Feb. 5.
“They’re very similar how they play. They’re highly offensive teams that have a lot of skill and can hurt you all four lines,” Engelland said. “We’ve got to be ready, expect their best and we’ve got to come out and match that.
“I think after last game — the last few games — it doesn’t matter who you’re playing. We’ve just got to get back to our game, worry about ourselves and play that full 60-minute game that we know that we can.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch
Brandon Pirri-Cody Eakin-Oscar Lindberg
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller