David Perron was better, but not feeling good enough to return to the Golden Knights’ lineup.
The forward was held out of Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Winnipeg Jets after missing Game 2 with an undisclosed illness.
“It’s tough,” he said after participating in Wednesday’s morning skate at City National Arena. “I came back from an injury the first series and was just trying to get my feet wet. I felt like the second part of last round I was really starting to come on the way I played in the season and this happened again. I’m hoping I get my feet under me as soon as possible.”
Alex Tuch took Perron’s place on Erik Haula’s line for the second consecutive game. Tomas Tatar remained in the lineup playing with Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter. Tomas Nosek and Ryan Reaves stayed in the lineup skating on the fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
The Jets were without forward Nikolaj Ehlers due to an undisclosed injury. Jack Roslovic took his place on the roster with Brandon Tanev moving into Ehlers’ spot on the Jets’ second line.
Lagace backs up Fleury
Knights starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had a new backup for Game 3.
Maxime Lagace served as Fleury’s understudy against the Jets after regular backup Malcolm Subban was not on the ice at the morning skate. Coach Gerard Gallant would not disclose why Subban was unavailable.
“Subban’s day-to-day,” Gallant said.
Lagace played 16 games with the Knights this season, splitting time with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. He was 6-7-1 with a 3.92 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage with the Knights. His last NHL action came March 14 against New Jersey when he replaced Fleury in the second period of an 8-3 loss. Lagace played 37:29, allowed four goals and had 13 saves.
“I knew I was going to skate this morning so I’m going to be ready,” Lagace said. “For me, if I have to come in, I’ll do what I do. Having been up here before helps. I have more experience.”
Fleury has played every minute in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He is 9-3 with a 1.68 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.
Lagace last played in a game on April 26 for the Wolves against Rockford. He allowed four goals in a 4-3 triple-overtime loss that ended Chicago’s season. He rejoined the Knights April 30.
Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was announced as one of three finalists for the NHL’s GM of the Year Award.
McPhee joins Winnipeg’s Kevin Cheveldayoff and Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman as finalists for the award, which will be presented at the Hard Rock Hotel June 20.
Following the playing of the national anthems, a fly-over was staged over T-Mobile Arena by The United States Air Force Weapons School out of Nellis AFB.