The Golden Knights are expected to make one significant change on defense when they open a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Boston Bruins at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
“They have a lot of high-end skill, and their power play’s hot,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “We know it’s a good team. We know they’re playing well of late. It’s another good test for us. We’re at home. We need to come out and make it a statement game and have a bunch of energy and work hard.”
Defenseman Colin Miller officially is a game-time decision, but all indications at the Knights’ morning skate were that he would be scratched against his former club.
Miller was on the ice for all three goals in the Knights’ 3-0 loss to Colorado on Monday. Coach Gerard Gallant said Miller’s status was a coaching decision and that he was not being held out as a precaution by management ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
“He may not be in there tonight. We’re not sure yet,” Gallant said.
Miller leads all Knights defensemen with 11 power-play points and is second overall behind Shea Theodore with 23 points on two goals and 21 assists.
The 26-year-old never has been a healthy scratch with the Knights and signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract in the offseason that makes him the club’s second-highest paid defenseman this season.
Defenseman Nick Holden was activated from injured reserve after he missed the past 10 games with a lower-body injury. Gallant said Holden also will be a game-time decision.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was rested the past two games, was confirmed as the starter. Fleury is 2-4 with a 3.49 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage in February and has lost three straight.
The Knights (32-25-4, 68 points) have a nine-point lead over Arizona and Vancouver for third place in the Pacific Division.
Boston (35-17-8, 78 points) sits second in the Atlantic Division and has won six straight, including a wild 6-5 overtime victory at San Jose on Monday.
Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the Bruins. He made 37 saves in a 4-1 win over the Knights on Nov. 11 and has allowed one goal in winning his past two appearances.
David Krejci has produced nine points (two goals, seven assists) during his four-game point streak.
The Bruins have the No. 2 power play in the NHL at 26.9 percent but are without leading goal scorer David Pastrnak (injured reserve).
Boston has allowed the second-fewest goals behind the New York Islanders and are allowing 2.55 goals per game.
“They play up-and-down, north-south hockey, and they’re a talented team,” Gallant said. “I don’t think they do anything special. I just think they play the game the right way and for a long time. They’ve got an experienced group back there.
“They got some big defensemen that play a good, solid game. They’ve got a couple small defensemen that are dynamic. A great hockey team that can win on the road and play real good hockey. We’ll have to be at our best again.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Brandon Pirri-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch
Max Pacioretty-Cody Eakin-Oscar Lindberg
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt-Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb-Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill-Nick Holden