GLENDALE, Ariz. — Goaltender Malcolm Subban will make his first start of the season when the Golden Knights face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday at Gila River Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
“It’ll be a fast game,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “You never know what’s going to happen, but it’ll be a defensive game. They’ve got a lot of speed, so it should be a real good, tight game.”
The Knights (2-1), who begin a stretch of three Pacific Division games in four days, are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
Right wing Mark Stone leads the team with six points (two goals, four assists) and has three straight multipoint games.
Right wing Reilly Smith recorded his team-leading third goal against Boston.
“I think it’s always tough to come in here and play,” center William Karlsson said. “I’m expecting a fast game. They’re pretty good in their own zone, so we have to get some pucks through and maybe create some chaos in front.”
Arizona (0-2) has been off since losing 1-0 at home to Boston on Saturday. Darcy Kuemper is expected to start in net for the Coyotes.
Phil Kessel, who has the Coyotes’ lone goal of the season so far, is set to surpass Craig Ramsay for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time consecutive games played list with his 777th straight appearance.
Barrett Hayton, the No. 5 pick in the 2018 draft, will make his NHL debut skating at left wing on the third line.
Derek Stepan has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in nine career games vs. the Knights, which trails Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (5-8-13) and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk (7-4-11) for the most points against the Knights.
This is the first of five meetings between the desert rivals. The Knights compiled a 2-2 record against Arizona last season.
“Their forwards are high-end,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “You’ve got to be careful you don’t get into some kind of river hockey game. We can’t be turning over pucks in the neutral zone, especially against Vegas. We have a certain style we want to play against them.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty-Cody Glass-Mark Stone
Brandon Pirri-Paul Stastny-Valentin Zykov
William Carrier-Tomas Nosek-Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb-Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill-Nick Holden
Nic Hague-Deryk Engelland