November 17, 2017 - 2:42 pm
Updated November 17, 2017 - 3:22 pm
The Golden Knights officially activated goaltender Malcolm Subban from the injured-reserve list Friday and returned 19-year-old goalie Dylan Ferguson to his major junior team.
Subban practiced Wednesday and Thursday but did not play against the Vancouver Canucks. Maxime Lagace started against Thursday and made 19 saves in the Knights’ 5-2 victory.
The Knights had an off day Friday and were not available to the media. The team returns to practice at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at City National Arena.
Subban could start Sunday when the Knights (11-6-1, 23 points) host the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings (11-6-2, 24 points) at 5 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.
Subban was placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower-body injury Oct. 21 against the St. Louis Blues.
In three games, Subban, 23, is 2-0 with a 2.06 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
“It’s tough watching,” Subban said Wednesday. “Obviously you got to stay healthy first and make sure that everything is OK so you don’t have a chance of reinjuring yourself. But I feel pretty close right now. I’m just trying to keep working hard to get to where I was.”
Ferguson made his NHL debut in Tuesday’s 8-2 at Edmonton, allowing one goal on two shots. He started Friday for Kamloops of the Western Hockey League.
New linemates usually need a few practices and games together in order to develop chemistry on the ice.
That hasn’t been the case for the Golden Knights trio of Erik Haula, James Neal and David Perron.
The Knights’ top line continued its hot play during the team’s swing through western Canada, combining for three goals and four assists in the two games.
“They’ve played well together all season,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said after Thursday’s 5-2 win in Vancouver. “They got some speed there, and Perron’s a strong guy on the puck. So I thought they played really well and competed hard and made some nice plays.”
The Haula-Neal-Perron line debuted Nov. 2 at Boston, as Haula swapped spots with center Cody Eakin.
In seven games, the trio have produced nine goals and 13 assists.
“I feel like every game we try to build chemistry with us three,” Haula said. “We know that we’ve got to play well.”
Perron leads the team in scoring overall with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) thanks to a much-needed scoring change Thursday night that added his assist on Haula’s go-ahead goal against the Canucks.
The wing has recorded an assist in six straight games and has two goals and seven assists during that span.
Haula has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past six games, while Neal has points in five of the past six games (three goals, two assists).
Haula’s goal in the third period Thursday showed the connection developing between the line.
After defenseman Nate Schmidt dumped the puck into the right-wing corner, Neal chopped it away from Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson behind the net and quickly centered for Perron.
Instead of firing a shot from point-blank range, Perron sent a perfect backhand pass through Sam Gagner’s legs to Haula, who was wide open at the right post.
“Just keep playing my game. I don’t worry too much, just try to stay consistent and keep going,” Haula said. “I’m having a lot of fun. They’re two great players, and I’m trying to help any way I can.”