As effective as the Golden Knights’ fourth line has been this season, keeping it healthy has been a challenge.
First, it was forward Will Carrier missing 16 games in late November with an upper-body injury. Then it was winger Tomas Nosek missing 12 games from mid-January to mid-February with an upper-body injury. Then it was Carrier getting injured again Feb. 4 and going back on injured reserve with another upper-body injury.
Now it’s center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare who is out, after the team placed him on IR Monday. He’ll miss at least a week.
Bellemare landed awkwardly into the sideboards near center ice in the first period of Sunday’s 6-3 win over Montreal. After he made two attempts to remain in the game, he was pulled in the second period. He was seen holding his left wrist or hand when he initially came off, and the team is calling it an upper-body injury.
“He’s an important player for us,” coach Gerard Gallant said of Bellemare, who has played in 55 games and has five goals and eight assists. “His penalty killing and his defensive play are the biggest things he brings.”
The Knights recalled forward Stefan Matteau from Chicago of the American Hockey League to take Bellemare’s spot.
“I’m going to try and play with energy and keep things simple,” said Matteau, who has played five games and has one assist with the Knights this season after being recalled for the first time Nov. 28. “Same formula as last time.”
Tomas Hyka debuts
In addition to Matteau, the Knights recalled forward Tomas Hyka from the Wolves. Hyka was with the team in the preseason, then was reassigned to Chicago before making his NHL debut Monday.
Hyka took James Neal’s place in the lineup, as Neal has been dealing with flu symptoms for the past few days.
Defenseman Shea Theodore missed his second straight game with what Gallant called a sore throat. The defense pairs remained the same as Saturday, with Luca Sbisa playing with Deryk Engelland, Brad Hunt pairing with Colin Miller and Brayden McNabb playing alongside Nate Schmidt.
Third time for home whites
The Knights wore their away white uniforms at home Monday for the third and last time this season. The Knights wore white Oct. 27 when they defeated Colorado 7-0 and again Dec. 3 when they defeated Arizona 3-2.