Live Blog: Golden Knights take on Rangers in family affair for Smith brothers

Posted Monday, 02 December 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

NEW YORK — If Reilly Smith scores a goal tonight, there will be at least a few people in the Madison Square Garden crowd who will cheer for the visiting Golden Knights. But that same group will also be cheering if the Smith in a home sweater scores. Today's 4 p.m. game against the New York Rangers will be the 19th time that brothers Reilly and Brendan Smith have played against each other, but that doesn't make it any less fun. And their parents will go home happy fans regardless of the outcome. "It's always fun," Brendan Smith said. "I don't know if I'd say we take it easy or anything, we might even actually take it harder on each other. Just kind of a basement, back-street hockey kind of thing." The Smith brothers played each other a lot more when they were both in the Eastern Conference. Before coming to Vegas, Reilly Smith played almost all of his career in Florida and Boston. Brendan Smith has spent his time in the NHL with the Rangers and in Detroit. They played each other 17 times between 2012 and 2017. Since Reilly Smith's move to Vegas in 2017, their meetings have been more limited. The Golden Knights and Rangers only play each other twice per year, and the brothers have only met once since Reilly Smith joined the Golden Knights. In 18 all-time meetings, Reilly Smith has 12 points against his brother's teams. Brendan Smith, usually a defenseman, has four points. "I think it's nice for our families to be able to come to town and be able to see us and watch both of us play," Reilly Smith said. "Obviously it's a great experience for us, but it's nice to have our family be apart of it as well." Brendan Smith has been a do-it-all kind of player for the Rangers. He's a defenseman usually, but this season he has also spent time on the wing. He's expected to play forward tonight, which could lead to the possibility that he lines up against his brother for a faceoff. "Probably more on the (penalty kill) than anything. They're first line, so I won't see them as much as a fourth-line (player)," Brendan Smith said. "There's times where they might try to switch up the lines and I'll give him a little shove, maybe a little cross check. You never know." Smith family reunion aside, tonight's game is the start of an important stretch for the Golden Knights. They've won two in a row, both after regulation, and start a three-game road trip unlike most of their usual trips. They play the Rangers in Manhattan, the Devils in Newark, New Jersey, and the Islanders on Long Island, giving them three road games in the same metro area. Vegas also plays three times in four days, something that coach Gerard Gallant is pleased with. "Back-to-back early in the trip, you get a day off then you play another one, so when you come this far it's good to play like that," Gallant said. "You don't want to spend too much time on the road." Malcolm Subban will start in net for the fourth game in a row, while starter Marc-Andre Fleury remains away from the team. The Golden Knights hope Fleury rejoins the team on the trip, but if he doesn't, it's possible that emergency recall Garret Sparks sees game action, perhaps as soon as Tuesday in New Jersey. Gallant announced Sunday that center Cody Eakin will be week-to-week with an upper-body injury after leaving Friday's game with an apparent head injury. Nicolas Roy was called up on an emergency basis and is expected to center the fourth line between Tomas Nosek and Ryan Reaves. As a result, Cody Glass will play center on the third line with William Carrier and Alex Tuch on his wings. TV: AT&T Sports Net (DirecTV 684, Cox 1313, CenturyLink 1760) Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM Betting line: Golden Knights minus-140, Rangers plus-120; over/under: 6 (minus-115, minus-105) Golden Knights (13-11-4, 30 points) (6-6-1 road), fifth place, Pacific Division; third place, Wild Card Coach: Gerard Gallant (third season) Points leader: Max Pacioretty (25) Goals leaders: Reilly Smith, Mark Stone (11) Assists leaders: Max Pacioretty (16) Expected goalie: Malcolm Subban (3.09 GAA, .901 save percentage) Rangers (13-9-3, 29 points) (8-4-2 home), sixth place, Metropolitan Division; third place, Wild Card Coach: David Quinn (second season) Points leaders: Artemi Panarin (33) Goals leaders: Artemi Panarin (12) Assists leaders: Artemi Panarin (21) Expected goalie: Henrik Lundqvist (3.16 GAA, .912 save percentage) Golden Knights projected lineupForwards Jonathan Marchessault—William Karlsson—Reilly Smith Max Pacioretty—Paul Stastny—Mark Stone William Carrier—Cody Glass—Alex Tuch Tomas Nosek—Nicolas Roy—Ryan Reaves Defensemen Brayden McNabb—Nate Schmidt Nicolas Hague—Shea Theodore Jon Merrill—Deryk Engelland Goalies Malcolm Subban, Garret Sparks

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