KANATA, Ontario — The changes made by Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant may have changed the optic for the opposing team but it didn’t help the Knights stop their woes on the road.
Gallant switched centers Cody Eakin and Erik Haula for Thursday’s game against the Boston Bruins, playing Haula with James Neal and David Perron while Eakin centered for Alex Tuch and Oscar Lindberg. Eakin scored in the second period, his second of the season, but the Knights still fell short, losing 2-1 to the Bruins.
“Yeah, it looked pretty good,” Gallant said of the changes, which included returning Brayden McNabb and Brad Hunt on defense while sitting Shea Theodore and Jon Merrill. “I thought we played a smart game, a strong game and we just fell short.”
Gallant said Friday he’ll likely keep the lines the same Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. For Eakin, he merely adjusted, making sure he and his new linemates communicated on the ice and on the bench between shifts.
“I think we kept things simple, got some pucks in deep and created some chances,” Eakin said. “Not bad for a first time together.”
Shipachyov ships out
According to multiple reports, Vadim Shipachyov has left Las Vegas and has returned to Russia.
Shipachyov, who has been suspended without pay since Sunday for leaving the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League without permission from the Knights last Saturday, is seeking a resolution to his situation. The Athletic reported Shipachyov left Las Vegas Thursday.
The NHL Players Association is reportedly involved and Shipachyov is willing to forego the majority his $2 million signing bonus if it means obtaining his freedom, something the NHLPA may not be too happy about.
As of Friday, Shipachyov remained Knights property. If he gets his release, look for him to probably return to SKA St. Petersburg, his Kontinetal Hockey League team of the previous four seasons.
About the Sens
Ottawa, which is in second place in the Atlantic Division, has been led by forward Mark Stone who has eight goals and 14 points. Stone played his junior hockey for Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Erik Karlssson, the Senators’ all-star defenseman who has recovered from off-season ankle surgery, has 12 assists and is playing at his usual high level. Craig Anderson has played the majority of the games in goal and has a 5-2-3 record with a 2.93 goals-against average. He is coming off a 3-1 win over Detroit Thursday.