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Alex Tuch practices, might play on Golden Knights’ trip

Updated March 5, 2020 - 5:58 pm

The Golden Knights expect to get a key player back for their five-game trip that begins Friday at Winnipeg.

Right wing Alex Tuch practiced Thursday in a noncontact jersey and probably will play at some point on the trip, coach Pete DeBoer said. He hasn’t played since Feb. 13 because of a lower-body injury he sustained against the St. Louis Blues.

Tuch is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve Monday before the Knights’ game at Edmonton.

The Knights could use his blend of size and speed as they chase their second Pacific Division title in three years, especially with right wing Mark Stone injured.

“He’s a real offensive threat,” DeBoer said. “He’s a guy with (Stone) out that might have the opportunity to play up (in the lineup) a little bit and get on a roll here before the playoffs because we need him.”

Tuch skated on the second line with center William Karlsson and left wing Max Pacioretty on Thursday. He excelled at second-line right wing last season, compiling a career-high 52 points and leading the Knights in scoring before the trade deadline.

The team then acquired Stone, who has become their best skater, and Tuch was bumped to the third line. He has 17 points and has played in only 42 games because of injuries this season.

“It’s no secret he hasn’t had the season he’s wanted to have,” DeBoer said. “I think these last (remaining) games are important for him individually.”

Whitecloud heads home

Knights rookie defenseman Zach Whitecloud practiced Thursday after leaving Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Whitecloud blocked a shot with 3:56 to play, went to the locker room and didn’t return.

Whitecloud said he was “feeling fine” Thursday and excited to travel to his home province of Manitoba to play against the Jets on Friday.

Whitecloud, who grew up in Brandon, about 132 miles outside of Winnipeg, said family and friends would be at the game.

“Just exciting to play in front of people that had a huge impact on my life,” Whitecloud said. “It’s exciting for them, it’s exciting for me.”

Roy, Pirri recalled

The Knights called up forwards Nicolas Roy and Brandon Pirri from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.

Roy and Pirri were sent down after playing in Tuesday’s game.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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