NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Tuesday night’s matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.
After practicing for the second time with his teammates since going on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, Pekka Rinne “feels good” and could be back between the pipes for the Nashville Predators soon. For now, it remain Juuse Saros’ net.
The 23-year-old Saros has helped the Predators to three wins in five games since Rinne went out, including the relief effort he put in — stopping all nine shots he faced — when the injury occurred in Calgary.
It’s going to be fascinating how the goaltending situation develops in Nashville. You have Rinne, who turns 36 on Saturday, coming off a Vezina Trophy winning season and off to a strong start in 2018-19 (.949 even strength save percentage), in the final year of his contract. Meanwhile, general manager David Poile recognized the value in what Saros brings, plus the 12-year age difference between his goaltenders, and handed Saros a three-year extension in July.
The Predators’ cap situation is a tight one, so it’ll be interesting to see the decision they make in the summer.
An up-and-down start has been turned around swifty by the Golden Knights, who have gone 4-1-1 in their last six games. Now with six of their next seven are away from T-Mobile Arena, it’s a chance to continue to pick up points and march back up the Pacific Division standings.
William Karlsson is off to a slow start with three goals, but go back to last season and he had the same stat line through 11 games before taking off in November with 10 and finishing with a career high 43.
One Golden Knights player that doesn’t seem to slump often is Jonathan Marchessault, who leads the team with six goals and 11 points. He clinched the extra point on Sunday against Ottawa with an overtime penalty shot goal and is looking to continue building off a career season in 2017-18 when he tallied 27 goals and 75 points.
“As he goes, we go,” said Vegas defenseman Jon Merrill. “We look to him in big situations to score big goals like he did (against Ottawa), and when he’s scoring and playing his game, the team follows.”