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The Wraparound: Pacioretty ‘trending in the right direction’ for Golden Knights

Kathryn Tappen, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher dive into the latest power rankings for the non-playoff teams most likely to return next season, with the Stars leading the way, and name the sleepers left off the list.

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

• Penguins, Panthers, Golden Knights try to even up their individual series.

• Want to catch up on each night’s action in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Read the NHL Playoff Buzzer.

No Golden Knights players has scored more goals than Max Pacioretty since the forward was acquired from Montreal before the 2018-19 season. So it would be a boost for the Vegas lineup if they can get him back sooner rather than later.

Pacioretty has missed the last seven games with an undisclosed injury, but there might some good news on the horizon. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said on Monday that Pacioretty remains day-to-day, but he’s “trending in the right direction.”

He left open the possibility that Pacioretty returns for Game 2 against the Wild Tuesday night (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Following a 1-0 overtime defeat in Game 1, any help for the Vegas offense would be welcomed.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First Round schedule, TV info]

The Golden Knights were the NHL’s top 5-on-5 offense during the regular season with 135 goals, via Natural Stat Trick. They’re hoping that what bit them during lats season’s Western Conference Final against Dallas doesn’t show up in the First Round.

“I thought we had good enough looks to score a couple goals,” DeBoer said of Game 1. “It’s not like they smothered us defensively. They’re a very good defensive team and have been for a long time. It’s going to be tough, and with Patches out of the lineup, we’ve got to have some other guys finish chances. I thought we had enough looks to get one.”

Vegas won the possession battle, had the puck all over the Wild zone and had more even strength shots on goal, but could not solve Cam Talbot. That’s what they can take into Game 2, knowing they did everything they could, it was just one of those nights.

“We outplayed them for the majority of the game, did a pretty good job,” said captain Mark Stone. “They got their chances towards the second half of the game, but I don’t know, we’ve got to find ways to score.”



Game 2: Islanders at Penguins (NYI leads 1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)
Game 2: Lightning at Panthers (TB leads 1-0), 8 p.m. ET - CNBC (livestream)
Game 2: Wild at Golden Knights (MIN leads 1-0), 10 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)


Game 3: Capitals at Bruins (Series tied 1-1), 6:30 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)
Game 2: Predators at Hurricanes (CAR leads 1-0), 8 p.m. ET - CNBC (livestream)
Game 1: Jets at Oilers, 9 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)
Game 2: Blues at Avalanche (COL leads 1-0), 10:30 p.m. ET - CNBC (livestream)

PHT’s 2021 Stanley Cup previews
Penguins vs. Islanders

Bruins vs. Capitals
Jets vs. Oilers
Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens
Lightning vs. Panthers
Hurricanes vs. Predators
Golden Knights vs. Wild
Avalanche vs. Blues

Stanley Cup playoff predictions
Why your team can (and can not) win the Stanley Cup this season
NHL odds: Division winners, 2021 Stanley Cup champion
Which NHL playoff series has biggest upset potential?