The Golden Knights are one win away from being halfway to the Stanley Cup.
The Knights can advance to the Western Conference Final by defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of their second-round series at 7 p.m. Sunday at Rogers Place. They’re 2-4 in their history in Game 6s.
The Knights know closing this one out won’t be easy. The sides have alternated wins through the first five games.
The Oilers have been in this situation before. They rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.
If the Knights don’t want to return for a Game 7 at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday, they’re going to need a strong effort.
“(Edmonton has) done a good job responding,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s the challenge in front of us.”
Helping the Knights’ cause is the return of their No. 1 defenseman.
Alex Pietrangelo will rejoin the lineup after being suspended for Game 5 because of a slash on Oilers center Leon Draisaitl. Pietrangelo leads the Knights in ice time this season and matched his career high by scoring 54 points.
Defenseman Ben Hutton will draw out after filling in for Game 5.
“It’s just not fun to watch, right?” Pietrangelo said. “And so you want to make sure you get out there and contribute. I don’t want to be in that situation again.”
The Knights aren’t expected to make any other changes.
That’s not a shock given how they’ve controlled the series for large stretches. They’ve outscored the Oilers 12-7 at five-on-five.
Edmonton will get back its No. 1 defenseman, Darnell Nurse, who was suspended one game for instigating a fight with defenseman Nic Hague with 50 seconds remaining in Game 4. Nurse’s replacement, 21-year-old Philip Broberg, took two holding penalties in Game 5 in 6:01 of ice time.
The Oilers are expected to stick with rookie goaltender Stuart Skinner, who was pulled for the second time in the series and the third time in the postseason in Game 5. He has an .890 save percentage in the playoffs.
The Knights are 8-8 in their history in potential series-clinching games. The Oilers are 18-19 in elimination games, and 3-2 at home this postseason.
“When you get to trying to find the fourth win of the series, the pressure shifts to that team,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “We know where the pressure lies in this situation. That’s on Vegas trying to come to our building and close us out in Edmonton.”
Knights at Oilers, Game 6 (7 p.m.)
Radio: KKGK (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)
Line: Oilers -182; total 6½
Knights’ projected lineup:
Ivan Barbashev — Jack Eichel — Jonathan Marchessault
Reilly Smith — William Karlsson — Nicolas Roy
Brett Howden — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone
William Carrier — Teddy Blueger — Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nic Hague — Zach Whitecloud