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Ryan Reaves makes presence felt in playoff debut for Knights

Updated May 6, 2018 - 9:37 pm

SAN JOSE, Calif. — It took him 10 games, but Ryan Reaves finally joined the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The rugged forward was in the lineup for the Golden Knights for Game 6 after Will Carrier was scratched as he dealt with an upper-body injury sustained in the second period of Game 5 on Friday.

Reaves skated with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter on the Knights’ fourth line, played 15 shifts and had 10:11 of ice time as the line helped the Knights eliminate the Sharks in their Western Conference semifinal series.

“I’ve tried to stay ready,” Reaves said. “I’ve been on both sides. When you’re not playing, you have to stay mentally focused.

“But I’ve played with those guys on the line so I was comfortable being out there with them. I thought we did a good job pressuring (the Sharks) and controlling the puck in their end.”

Coach Gerard Gallant could have went with Tomas Nosek, who has been a regular on Bellemare’s flank all season. Instead, he opted for Reaves, who had fresh legs and could give the Knights a more physical presence.

“I thought he did an outstanding j0b,” Gallant said of Reaves, who had a team-high eight hits, blocked a shot and had one shot on goal. “He has the size and the strength and he came out ready to play.

“I thought the entire line was excellent the way they worked and made plays and kept the pressure on San Jose.”

Gallant said Carrier remains day-to-day.

Tough delay call

One of the toughest calls for the officials is when the puck goes sailing over the glass and whether a delay of game penalty should be assessed.

Brayden McNabb got called for the penalty at 9:23 of the first period after he and Timo Meier came together behind the Knights’ goal and the puck appeared to have caught the glass before going into the stands. If the puck is deflected or hits any part of the glass, it is not a penalty.

After conferring, the penalty was called on McNabb even though replays on NBC Sports Network showed the puck had hit the glass prior to leaving the playing surface. The Knights successfully killed the penalty, but McNabb still wasn’t happy after the game with the call.

“Yeah, it’s a little frustrating,” McNabb said. “In the playoffs, every call is so important. But the guys did a great job killing it off.”

Giveaway battle won

The Knights had just one giveaway to San Jose’s 13 in Game 6. The biggest Sharks giveaway came in the second period when William Karlsson took the puck off defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick in the San Jose zone. He passed it to linemate Reilly Smith, who quickly fed a wide-open Jonathan Marchessault. Marchessault beat Martin Jones from in close for the first goal.

“They put great pressure on you,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said of the Knights. “They had 109 points this year. They’re for real.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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