David Perron returned to Golden Knights practice for the first time in nearly two weeks.
But the winger wasn’t skating Monday at City National Arena with his usual linemates — Erik Haula and James Neal — and Perron’s status for Game 1 against Los Angeles in the opening round of the playoffs remained uncertain.
“I don’t know,” coach Gerard Gallant said when asked if Perron will play in Wednesday’s opener. “Like I told you two weeks ago, everybody is ready to go and we’ll see where it goes. It’s good to see him out there and we’ll see how it goes the next couple days.”
Perron, who was third on the Knights with 66 points — including a team-high 50 assists — in 70 games, missed the final six games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury. He was a full participant in practice March 30 but did not travel for the three-game seasons-ending road trip.
The Knights had 15 forwards at practice and Perron’s return to the second line would force Gallant to make several tough roster choices.
The fourth line Monday consisted of center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and wings Tomas Nosek and William Carrier, which was an effective trio early in the season.
If Gallant sticks with that group against the Kings, it leaves Cody Eakin, Tomas Tatar, Ryan Carpenter and Alex Tuch competing for spots on the third line.
Tuch skated with Haula and Neal on the second line Monday, with Eakin centering Tatar and Carpenter. Perron worked with extra forwards Oscar Lindberg and Ryan Reaves.
“Again, I’m going to have some tough decisions,” Gallant said. “When we get done after Wednesday morning’s skate, we’re going to make up our lineup and see what the best is. It’s going to be tough. There’s still a few question marks. We’ll see where it goes.”
Grow it out
Fans who grow a playoff beard can participate in the Knights’ Beard-A-Thon and invite friends, family and colleagues to support their beard and donate.
The fan who raises the most funds will win two tickets to the 2018-19 season opener. The second-place finisher will receive a 2017-18 signed jersey, and the third-place beard will receive a Marc-Andre Fleury signed puck.
All proceeds go to the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation. The contest will run as long as the Knights remain in the playofffs. Bellemare, Deryk Engelland, Neal, Shea Theodore and Tuch are participating.
You can enter by visiting http://www.beardathon.com/GoldenKnights.
Defenseman Zach Whitecloud was not at practice Monday and is ineligible to play in the postseason.
According to NHL bylaws, players must be on their team’s reserve list as of noon Pacific time the day of the trade deadline (Feb. 26 this season) to be eligible for the playoffs. Whitecloud signed with the Knights on March 8 after his sophomore season at Bemidji State.
The Knights have plans to honor the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on Wednesday for Game 1 of the playoffs but were still finalizing the details, a team spokesperson said.