Team Teal recently swept three home games in four nights against the Tampa Bay Lighting, LA Kings, and Edmonton Oilers. Although their top defensive pair of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun has been sidelined with injuries, San Jose's blueline depth has helped the team go 4-0-0 so far in the month of January. San Jose currently has 57 points on the season, just one point behind Vegas in the Pacific Division standings.
The Golden Knights also enter Thursday's game with a spotless record on the month and have seven victories in a row dating back to December 27. Starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury currently leads all NHL goaltenders with 25 wins and six shutouts. (Fans, of course, remember one of those shutouts from the last time the Sharks visited the Golden Knights and Fleury blanked Team Teal 6-0.) Fleury and the Vegas blue line have only allowed two goals or fewer in their last seven contests.
San Jose enters Thursday's game with a 1-3-1 regular season franchise record against the Golden Knights and are winless at T-Mobile Arena during regular season play. Vegas has a 15-3-3 home record heading into Thursday's game and is 11-3-2 versus the rest of the Pacific Division this season.
Sharks projected lines and pairs:
Radim Simek – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan – Tim Heed
Martin Jones – probable starter
Golden Knights projected lines and pairs:
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Max Pacioretty
Brandon Pirri – Paul Stastny – Alex Tuch
Ryan Carpenter – Tomas Nosek – Valentin Zykov
Oscar Lindberg – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb – Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore – Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill – Nick Holden
Marc-Andre Fleury – projected starter