PITTSBURGH — Down two forwards, the Golden Knights turned to Tomas Hyka on Thursday.
The Knights recalled the forward from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves with Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny on injured reserve. Hyka skated on the third line in place of Oscar Lindberg against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Coach Gerard Gallant hoped Hyka could provide a spark for the stagnant offense, which entered Thursday with eight goals in four games.
”He’s come up and played some good games for us,” Gallant said. “(He brings) a little bit of energy, shoots the puck real well and hopefully (creates) a little bit of offense.”
Hyka, 25, played in 10 games with the Knights last year and had a goal and two assists. He’s been productive in the minors, scoring 48 points in 50 games with the Wolves last season and notching three assists through two games this year.
“We (saw) him last year and we liked what we saw,” Gallant said. “He had a decent camp this year. We’ll give him an opportunity, see what happens.”
Lindberg became a healthy scratch after not scoring a point in the Knights’ first four games. He entered Thursday tied for last on the team in plus-minus at minus-4, along with forwards Tomas Nosek and Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Shea Theodore.
Capitals break streak
While the Capitals defeated the Knights last season in the Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday’s 5-2 victory was their first regular-season win against Vegas.
Capitals coach Todd Reirden thought the rematch gave his team energy after a five-day break between games.
“I’m happy this was our opponent because we knew they would be a hungry, desperate team that would like to reverse what happened last year,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said Wednesday. “It helped us to get a little bit more invested to start the game.”
There are now just three teams who have never defeated the Knights in the regular season: The Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vancouver Canucks.
Rematch spikes ratings
The finals rematch between the Knights and Capitals drew a 4.1 rating for NBCSN in the Las Vegas market, making it the channel’s second highest-rated regular-season Knights’ game behind the Oct. 4 season-opener against the Philadelphia Flyers (7.2).
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins, received a nice ovation from the Pittsburgh crowd during warmups. Fleury gave his stick to a fan before leaving the ice.
Marc-Andre Fleury just threw his stick to a kid in the stands. Got a nice cheer from the Pittsburgh fans. pic.twitter.com/hNhRmmLmjb
— Ben Gotz (@BenSGotz) October 11, 2018