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NHL Preview: Vegas Golden Knights (5-0-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (2-3-0)

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS NOTES:

GOLDEN KNIGHTS UPCOMING GAMES
DATE OPPONENT TIME (PT) TELEVISION RADIO SPANISH RADIO
Oct. 21 at Chicago Blackhawks 5 p.m. Scripps Sports Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM None
Oct. 24 vs. Philadelphia Flyers 8 p.m. ESPN/ESPN+ Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes Vegas 1460 AM
Oct. 27 vs. Chicago Blackhawks 3 p.m. Scripps Sports Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes Vegas 1460 AM
Oct. 28 at Los Angeles Kings 7:30 p.m. Scripps Sports Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM None
Oct. 30 vs. Montreal Canadiens 7 p.m. Scripps Sports Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes Vegas 1460 AM

LAST GAME RECAP – VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5, WINNIPEG JETS 3
The Vegas Golden Knights (5-0-0) took down the Winnipeg Jets (1-3-0) in a 5-3 victory at Canada Life Centre on Thursday night for their fifth-straight win and their best start to a season in franchise history. The Jets struck first just a minute and a half into the first period as Alex Iafallo scored off a rebound into Vegas’ net. Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault followed up with a powerplay goal late in the first to enter intermission level at 1-1. Just 49 seconds into the middle frame, Brett Howden scored against his hometown team to give Vegas the 2-1 advantage. In his season debut, Alec Martinez went bar down later in the second for the Golden Knights’ third straight goal. Cole Perfetti responded for the Jets, scoring just 33 seconds after Martinez’s tally to cut Vegas’ lead back to one. Iafallo scored his second of the night just 18 seconds into Winnipeg’s man-advantage to even the score, 3-3. It was Jack Eichel who regained the lead for Vegas at 15:24 in the third to give the Golden Knights their second power-play goal of the game and Nicolas Roy shut the door with a late empty-net tally to give Vegas the 5-3 victory.

AGAINST THE BLACKHAWKS
The Vegas Golden Knights will face the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time this season tonight at the United Center. The Golden Knights have never lost in regulation in Chicago through seven trips, posting a 5-0-2 record and outscoring the Blackhawks 28-19 in Chicago. Last season, Vegas owned a 2-0-1 advantage over Chicago with their lone loss coming in a shootout in their final meeting of the season. The Golden Knights hosted the Blackhawks at their Opening Knight where rookie forward Paul Cotter (1G) and rookie goaltender Logan Thompson (1.00 sv% on 27 shots) secured the 1-0 victory. Vegas next traveled to Chicago and had a dominant performance, outscoring the home team, 4-1. In the final match up of the season, Chicago’s Tyler Johnson scored a late power-play goal to send the contest into overtime where after a scoreless extra frame, it was Johnson again with the lone shootout goal to defeat Vegas.

2023-24 SEASON CHI SERIES 2022-23 SEASON CHI SERIES
0-0-0 (Home: 0-0-0, Road 0-0-0) 2-0-1 (Home: 1-0-0, Road: 1-0-1)
Oct. 21 – United Center Oct. 13 – T-Mobile Arena Vegas 1, Chicago 0
Oct. 27 – T-Mobile Arena Dec. 15 – United Center Vegas 4, Chicago 1
Apr. 16 – T-Mobile Arena Feb. 21 – United Center Vegas 2, Chicago 3 SO

A HISTORIC START
At 5-0-0, Vegas has the best start in team history with their win on Thursday over Winnipeg. Vegas is the third reigning Stanley Cup champion in NHL history to record a season-opening winning streak of five games, and the first since Wayne Gretzky’s 1985-86 Oilers. The Golden Knights can become the first defending champions in NHL history to start the next season 6-0-0 after winning the Stanley Cup.

Longest Season-Opening Winning Streaks as Reigning Stanley Cup Champions
5 – Vegas Golden Knights (2023-24)
5 – Edmonton Oilers (1985-86)
5 – Ottawa Senators (1920-21)

POWER OF THREE
Vegas has scored three-or-more goals in all five games to start the season. Including the 2023 playoffs and the 2022-23 season, the Golden Knights have won 26 games straight when they score three or more goals. The last time Vegas scored three goals and lost was March 30, 2023, against San Jose (3-4, OT).

THE MORE, THE MERRIER
Through the first five games of the 2023-24 season, Vegas has outscored its opponents 19-8. Vegas’ nine goal differential is tied for the second best in the NHL (Colorado, 10). The Golden Knights’ 19 goals have come from 14 different players. 20 of the 22 Vegas skaters have recorded at least one point. The Golden Knights’ depth was displayed during the 2023 postseason where 12 skaters had over 10 points and Vegas saw goal scoring from nine different skaters after the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

HARD HITTING
Vegas ranks second in the league in hits this season with 109 (Nashville, 112). Paul Cotter ranks second in the NHL in hits with 20 and registered a career-high of nine hits in a single game against Seattle. The Golden Knights recorded a total of 40 hits in their Western Conference Final rematch against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 17.

ROUGH AND ROWDY
The Golden Knights have served 65 penalty minutes this season, including four five-minute fighting majors. Keegan Kolesar logged fights in back-to-back games for the first time in his career (SJS 10/12 and ANA 10/14). Last season, Vegas did not have its fourth fighting major until their 23rd game. The Golden Knights finished as the least penalized team in 2022-23 with 566 PIMs and did not reach 60 PIMs until their 12th game of the season.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NOTES:

TONIGHT’S BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: NBCSCH – Chris Vosters (PxP) and Darren Pang (analyst)
RADIO: WGN-AM 720 – John Wiedeman (PxP) and Troy Murray (analyst)
SPANISH RADIO: 1200 WRTO-AM – Miguel Esparza (PxP) and Jorge Moreno (analyst)

LAST TIME OUT
Score: Chicago (0) at Colorado (4) – Thu., Oct. 19 – Ball Arena
CHI Goals:
COL Goals: O’Connor (2; SH), Johansen (1; PP), Toews (1), MacKinnon (2)
Goalies: CHI – Mrazek (37/41, 60:00) COL – Georgiev (18/18, 60:00)
CHI PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3
COL PP: 1/3; PK: 4/4
Recap: The Blackhawks were shutout for the first time this season, falling 4-0 to the Avalanche in Denver on Thursday night … Chicago allowed their first opponent power-play goal of the season, going 2-for-3 on the penalty kill … The Blackhawks are 12-for-13 on the penalty kill this season, tied for ninth best in the league at 92.3 pct. … Ryan Donato and Lukas Reichel each posted a team-high three shots on goal … Connor Murphy paced the club with three blocked shots … Tyler Johnson went 3-for-4 (75 pct.) in the faceoff circle.

TONIGHT’S OPPONENT – VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Blackhawks face off against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights in their home opener tonight at the United Center … Chicago defeated the Golden Knights in their last matchup on Feb. 21, 2023 in a 3-2 shootout victory … Tyler Johnson scored both the game-tying goal in the final minute of the third period and the game-deciding goal in the shootout to get the Blackhawks two points … Petr Mrazek made 34 saves on 36 shots and earned his 17th career shootout win … Taylor Halls has points in six of eight career games against Vegas (3G, 5A), including points in back-to-back games (!G, 1A) … Corey Perry has points in three of his last four against the Golden Knights (2G, 3A) … Taylor Raddysh has four points (3G, 1A) over his last four games against Vegas, including points in consecutive contests (1G, 1A).

2023-24 Schedule/Results: HOME: Oct. 21 | AWAY: Oct. 27, April 16
All-Time Record: 4-8-3 | Home: 2-3-2 | Road: 2-5-1
Last Home Win: Feb. 21, 2023 (3-2 SO) | Last Road Win: Dec. 21, 2019 (5-3) | Last Home Loss: April 27,
2022 (4-3 SO)| Last Road Loss: Oct. 13, 2022 (0-1)

ACTIVE BLACKHAWKS VS. VGK ALL-TIME
GOALS: 5 players tied with 3 goals
ASSISTS: Seth Jones, 6; Taylor Hall, 5; Andreas Athanasiou, 4
POINTS: Taylor Hall, 8; Andreas Athanasiou, 7; Seth Jones/Corey Perry, 6

TEAM NOTES
SWEET HOME CHICAGO: The Blackhawks drop the puck on their home schedule on Saturday night against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights … Chicago has earned points in six of its last 10 home openers dating back to the start of the 2013-14 season, logging a 5-4-1 record in home openers over that stretch … The Blackhawks have also outscored opponents 45-35 in the previous 10 home openers … The team wraps up its two-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins before heading back on the road to face the Golden Knights on Oct. 27.

COMEBACK KIDS: The Blackhawks overcame a two-goal deficit against the Penguins en route to a 4-2 win on Oct. 10 … Last season, the Blackhawks recorded eight multi-goal comeback wins, good for second in the NHL … Of those eight, the team rallied from multiple goals in the third period three times, which was tied for third in the League … It’s the first time Chicago has earned three multi-goal, third-period comeback wins since the 2019-20 season, when they also posted three … The Blackhawks recorded three consecutive multi-goal comeback wins from Oct. 15 – 23 last season for the team’s first three wins of 2022-23 … Chicago became the ninth team in NHL history to post three or more consecutive multigoal comeback wins, and the first since Detroit did so during the 2018-19 season … Additionally, the Blackhawks were the fourth team in NHL history to overcome a multi-goal deficit in each of their first three wins of a season, joining St. Louis (3 GP in 2006-07), Detroit (3 GP in 1990-91) and the New York Islanders (3 GP in 1985-86).

BLACKHAWKS RECORD ON…
One-Day Rest: 1-0-0
Two-Days Rest: 0-2-0
Three+ Days Rest: 0-0-0
First Game of a B2B: 1-0-0
Second Game of a B2B: 0-1-0

BLACKHAWKS RECORD BY DAY
Monday: 1-0-0
Tuesday: 1-0-0
Wednesday: 0-1-0
Thursday: 0-1-0
Friday: 0-0-0
Saturday: 0-1-0
Sunday: 0-0-0

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