Forward Alex Tuch was able to break out of his slump on Saturday night as he was one of several Golden Knights to have their best game of the last few weeks.
Tuch broke a seven-game stretch without a point when he recorded two assists in the victory over Nashville, his first points of the month.
He hopes it’s just the beginning of good things to come for both himself and the team.
“Personally, I was in a little bit of a slump offensively,” he said at Monday’s morning skate at Pepsi Center hours before the Knights played the Avalanche. “I was still coming in and working hard and trying to play good defense, but it was a struggle. It did feel good, but it felt better to get the win.”
Tuch said his agitation was much more about the team’s losses than his personal streak of games without a point.
“We had a little bit of a downturn and it’s time to work our way out of it,” he said. “It’s not a breakout game unless we back it up tonight.”
Knights forward Paul Stastny was born in Quebec and grew up in St. Louis, but has called Denver home since playing college hockey here and starting his pro career with the Avalanche.
He was excited to be back for Monday’s game, though that wasn’t always the case after parting ways with the franchise as a free agent in 2014.
“Every game here just gets more comfortable,” he said. “I think when you’re younger you take it too serious or you’re holding grudges or whatever. You don’t realize just how fun it is to play in kind of your hometown. Sometimes you have family or friends at the game. Any time I come back here, it’s always good to hang out with some buddies and hit a few local spots for dinner.”
One thing he didn’t have to worry about was ticket requests.
“My good buddies work and have kids and stuff,” he laughed. “They don’t really get to get out of the house.”
Subban back in net
Malcolm Subban got his second consecutive start Monday night after earning a 5-1 win over Nashville on Saturday.
It was his third straight win.
“It’s no issue,” Gallant said of sitting starter Marc-Andre Fleury for a second straight game for the first time this season. “Malcolm had a great game the other night and it’s a good time to get the other guy a little bit of a rest. (Subban) was outstanding so we’re going to give him another shot tonight.”
Fleury leads the league in starts among goaltenders. Saturday marked the first time since Jan. 1 the Knights had allowed less than two goals in a game.
The only other lineup change for the Knights was Tomas Nosek in for William Carrier on the fourth line. A team spokesperson told the Review-Journal Carrier is “week-to-week” with an upper-body injury. He previously missed a month with an upper-body injury, returning to the lineup on Feb. 9.
Holden ‘close’ to return
Defenseman Nick Holden participated in the team’s morning skate at Pepsi Center on Monday morning, though Gallant said he is not ready to be activated from injured reserve.
“He’s close, but he’s not playing tonight,” Gallant said.
Holden went on IR with a lower-body injury on Feb. 1.