CHICAGO — The Golden Knights still have a faint pulse entering Wednesday’s game against the Blackhawks.
Yes, the team’s playoff hopes have nearly hit the floor after Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars. But the Knights haven’t been eliminated yet.
They need to win their two remaining games and hope Dallas loses its final two in regulation. The fight could be decided as early as Wednesday night. The Knights play Chicago at 5:30 p.m., and the Stars host Arizona at the same time.
“We’ve got to win,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “It’s not perfect, back to back. We emptied the tank (Tuesday), but we don’t have a choice. We’ve got to find a way to re-energize here and get ready and win a game (Wednesday).”
It’s not an ideal set of circumstances for the Knights. Chicago (27-42-11) long has been eliminated, but the Blackhawks are rested after beating Philadelphia at home Monday. The Knights are playing for the third time in four days in their third city. Both of their previous two games went to shootouts.
Chicago could be looking for some measure of revenge after allowing a 3-0 third-period lead to slip away on national TV on March 26 in a 5-4 overtime loss at T-Mobile Arena.
“We still have a slim opportunity,” captain Mark Stone said. “If we lose (Wednesday), it’s all over.”
The Knights’ fate still will be out of their hands even if they win Wednesday. Dallas needs one point against Arizona (23-50-7) or against Anaheim (31-36-14) on Friday to punch its playoff ticket. One win will do, as will one overtime or shootout loss.
The Stars get that, they’re in. And the Knights will be watching the playoffs from home for the first time in their five-year history.
“It’s tough, but we need some teams to do us a favor, and we’ve got to go win,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said.
Who: Golden Knights at Blackhawks
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: AT&T SportsNet (Cox 313/1313, DirecTV 684, CenturyLink 760/1760, U-verse 757/1757)
Radio: KKGK (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)
Line: Knights -208; total 6
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.