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LAS VEGAS — Despite losing three of their last five games Kevin Hogan Super Bowl LI Jersey , including both ends of a back-to-back with the Los Angeles Kings, the Vegas Golden Knights still hold a comfortable lead in the Pacific Division heading into Friday night’s home contest with the Ottawa Senators.

No time to push the panic button for the most successful expansion team in NHL history. But a loss to the struggling Senators, who are battling the Buffalo Sabres to stay out of the Atlantic Division cellar, before departing on a difficult five-game east coast trip and the collars could begin to tighten a little.

Vegas (41-17-5) has only lost eight times in 32 games at T-Mobile Arena (24-6-2) but two of the setbacks have come in the last four games, including a 4-1 loss to the Kings on Tuesday night. The Golden Knights were also blanked by Anaheim, 2-0 on Feb. 19.

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Meanwhile Rasheem Green Super Bowl LI Jersey , Ottawa (21-31-10) brings a five-game losing streak with it in its first trip to Las Vegas and has dropped six straight road games.

“Definitely a big game for us,” Vegas center Jonathan Marchessault, who leads the team with 63 points, said. “We’re at home against a team that most likely won’t make the playoffs. You don’t want to take them lightly. We definitely need that win before that long road trip.”

“They’re important points,” said right winger Reilly Smith, who Thursday was named the NHL’s Third Star for the month of February with 20 points (eight goals Robert Griffin III Super Bowl LI Jersey , 12 assists) in 14 games. “We want to pick up as many points as we can at home. I think those are crucial for us. It was tough to lose to L.A. last game at home. Hopefully we can get back to it.”

This has been a season to forget for Ottawa, which lost to eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh in seven games in the Eastern Conference finals last spring. Things have gone so bad for the Senators that owner Eugene Melnyk sent season-ticket holders a letter Thursday saying that he was not pleased with how the season had gone and promising to make the team a Stanley Cup contender again.

“This has been a disappointing season for our team,” Melnyk wrote, according to the Ottawa Sun. “Our place in the standings speaks for itself. Trust me, no one is more aware of this — and more frustrated — than I am.

“Remember, it was just a year ago we came within one goal of playing for the Stanley Cup. That grit and that fire are still part of the Senators’ DNA.”

The big question is whether two-time Norris Trophy winning defenseman Erik Karlsson Ronald Jones II Super Bowl LI Jersey , the hottest name at trade deadline time, will be around next season. Karlsson, 27, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in July 2019 and could be looking at an eight-year contract in the $100 million range, was reportedly strongly pursued by the draft-rich Golden Knights.

“He’s a Norris Trophy candidate every year,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “If he’s not the best passing defenseman in the league he’s right up there. He’s a very talented guy.”

Gallant said left winger James Neal (hand) Rashaan Evans Super Bowl LI Jersey , who missed Tuesday’s loss with the Kings after returning Monday from a lengthy battle with the flu, is questionable for Friday night’s game as is defenseman Nate Schmidt (undisclosed) but that defenseman Shea Theodore (illness), a key member of the power-play unit, will play.

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