Chicago 8th Central23-53-5-1
Vegas 4th Pacific45-29-6-2

Chicago @ Vegas preview

T-Mobile Arena

Last Meeting ( Oct 27, 2023 ) Chicago 4, Vegas 3

The Vegas Golden Knights head into their final two regular-season games with a second wild-card spot in the Western Conference all locked up and still have an outside chance of finishing third in the Pacific Division.

Following a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over Colorado on Sunday afternoon, the defending Stanley Cup champions bring a two-game winning streak into Tuesday night's meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks in Las Vegas.

Trailing 3-0 entering the final period, Vegas (44-28-8, 96 points) completed the third three-goal comeback win in franchise history. William Karlsson had a pair of markers, including the game-tying goal with 3:37 remaining in regulation, and Tomas Hertl scored the game-winner at 1:23 of overtime with a net-front deflection of a Jack Eichel point shot.

Ivan Barbashev also scored to start the comeback and Adin Hill finished with 21 saves for the Golden Knights, who will likely need to win their final two games and have the Blackhawks win at Los Angeles in their season finale on Thursday to catch the Kings for third place.

No matter where the Golden Knights finish, they'll face a stiff challenge in the first round of the playoffs, likely opening at Central Division champion Dallas or potential Pacific runner-up Edmonton.

"Our game's not going to change a ton on the opponent," Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We've got to play and play to our strengths. We're trying to get our game in order before worrying about who we're playing."

The Golden Knights looked well on their way to their fourth loss in five games after two periods against Colorado before their big comeback.

"We all know we didn't play good in the first and second," Barbashev said. "We had to talk about it in the locker room. We knew we had it. We went out there and played the right way."

Chicago (23-52-5, 51 points) carries a four-game losing streak into Tuesday's contest and possesses the worst road record (7-31-1) in the NHL.

The Blackhawks come in off a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Sunday in their home finale. Chicago's Frank Nazar, the 13th overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut a memorable one by scoring a goal on his first shot.

The contest capped a whirlwind weekend for Nazar. He played for Michigan in a 4-0 semifinal loss to Boston College in the Frozen Four on Thursday in Saint Paul, Minn., before signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on Saturday and arriving at their arena early Sunday to get acclimated hours before his NHL debut.

Playing in front of a large contingent of friends and family, Nazar took a stretch pass from Seth Jones at the blue line just past the midpoint of the first period and wired a wrist shot past Carolina goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov on a breakaway for his first NHL goal.

"It was nice to get one early there to kind of calm it and play a little bit more poised," said Nazar, who admitted to battling some nerves before his debut. "But the guys here have done a really good job, and they've been really nice and welcoming. It's been really great."

Nazar had 15:55 of ice time and saw action on both the power play and penalty kill.

"He'll be a guy who's versatile," Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said of Nazar. "You can put him anywhere ... and he'll do well."

--Field Level Media

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