Forward William Carrier was activated from injured reserve and will be a game-time decision when the Golden Knights open a four-game homestand Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at T-Mobile Arena.
Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
Carrier has not played since Jan. 4 due to an undisclosed injury. Forward Ryan Carpenter, who missed Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Detroit after being hurt Tuesday at Tampa Bay, was placed on IR, according to the NHL media website.
Carrier leads the NHL with 219 hits and has a career-high eight goals in 44 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the projected starter and can become the first goaltender to reach the 30-win mark.
The Knights (31-21-4, 66 points) are playing their first home game since Jan. 23 and have lost two straight at T-Mobile Arena.
The Knights play eight of their next nine games at home, where they are 16-6-3 and own a plus-36 goal differential (80-54).
“This is the time of year where points are so crucial,” defenseman Jon Merrill said. “Every single point matters so when you have eight of nine at home, you have to take care of those points and try to steal as many as we can.”
Columbus (30-20-3, 63 points) is third in the Metropolitan Division and clinging to a playoff spot.
“They work hard, they compete hard and they’ve got good depth through their lineup,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ve always had a tough time with them, but they’re always good battles, good games.”
The Blue Jackets overcame a slew of distractions to win the first two games of their three-game road trip at Colorado (6-3) and Arizona (4-2).
The top line of Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson was benched for the final 10 minutes of the game at Arizona by coach John Tortorella.
Panarin, the team’s leading scorer and the subject of trade rumors, switched agents this week and conducted his first interview with the media in English on Friday.
The native of Korkino, Russia, told reporters he wanted to test the free-agent market this summer, which could force Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen’s hand before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
Panarin has 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points in 51 games.
Tortorella confirmed that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (21-16-1, 2.98 goals-against average, .902 save percentage) will oppose Fleury.
The Blue Jackets defeated the Knights 1-0 on Dec. 17 in the first meeting.
“Both teams have great offensive threats, but it’s two really good goalies,” Knights leading scorer Alex Tuch said. “I expect both of them to show up tonight and it should be a very hard-fought game.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Alex Tuch
Tomas Nosek-Cody Eakin-Valentin Zykov
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller