TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (22-7-2-1; 1st Pacific) vs. Henderson Silver Knights (16-10-2-1; 3rd Pacific)
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, California
TIME: 7:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Today’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available on Fox Sports 1280 and online via Spreaker.
The home stand hits its halfway point with tonight’s game against the Henderson Silver Knights, game three of five and the first of a pair against the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. The Heat come into the game off a 3-2 setback against San Diego and will put their perfect record in bounce-back games on the line in Friday’s bout.
ONE AND DONE
Ten times the Heat have lost this season, nine times they’ve responded with a win the next game, with a chance to make it a perfect 10-for-10 in Friday’s showdown with the Silver Knights. Stockton has outscored opponents 37-16 in those bounce-back contests, 11-4 in three of such games at Stockton Arena.
Justin Kirkland notched his first multi-goal game as a member of the Heat in Wednesday’s contest, scoring a pair against San Diego to bring his season total to 9, which matches his career best set in 2016-17 and 2018-19 with Milwaukee. Kirkland has the hot hand on the offensive end for Stockton with six goals in his last seven contests.
The special teams battle will be one to watch this weekend as Stockton’s top-ranked penalty kill skates against the No. 5 power play in the league. Each time the Silver Knights have found the back of the net on the man-advantage they’ve earned the win over Stockton, while the Heat blanked Henderson on four power play chances in the teams’ first-ever meeting, a 3-2 shootout win.
TURN UP THE VOLUME
Stockton’s run of outshooting opponents came to a close at 14 consecutive games Wednesday, the Gulls besting the Heat on the shot counter, 31-30. The Heat are 15-5-1-1 on the year when outshooting opponents and have had a higher shot volume than the Silver Knights in two of three meetings this season. Henderson is 6-1-1-0 when outshooting opponents and 9-9-1-1 when being outshot this season.
Two of three meetings between Stockton and Henderson have required added time in a tight series between new divisional foes. The Silver Knights are one of only two clubs to beat the Heat in back-to-back meetings this year, with an active two-game win streak over Stockton coming into tonight’s game. Henderson is the only team with a point percentage above .500 against the Heat this season.