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Golden Knights’ Alex Tuch wants to be ‘game-changer’ upon return

Updated November 12, 2019 - 4:32 pm

The Golden Knights received a glimmer of hope Tuesday after their disappointing 1-2-1 trip.

Right wing Alex Tuch practiced fully at City National Arena after missing the previous four games with an upper-body injury. If he’s back in the lineup Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena — coach Gerard Gallant said he would make a decision after the team’s morning skate — he would add speed and forechecking to a group that sorely needs it.

“I want to try to be a game-changer every night going forward using my speed and my size to try to turn the tide,” Tuch said. “I’m really happy to be back, but our team has to take it up a notch moving forward.”

Tuch, 23, has endured a frustrating start to his third season with the Knights. He sustained an upper-body injury in the second-to-last preseason game and missed the first 13 games. Then, in his second game back, he was hit up high by Winnipeg Jets left wing Adam Lowry and sat out four more games.

That means Tuch, whose 52 points ranked fourth on the Knights last season, has played only 17:24 this season.

“When it first happens, you’re disappointed, pissed off, but you know what?” Tuch said. “You just got to kind of work through it. It’s part of the business. Injuries happen.”

Tuch’s return should boost the team’s struggling third line. He skated on the left with center Cody Eakin and right wing Cody Glass on Tuesday. The three have been on the ice for two goals in 13:30.

Eakin and Glass have been on the ice for one goal in 108:12 without Tuch.

“(Tuch is) a big part of our group,” Gallant said. “He’s going to help us a lot with scoring chances, with speed, with (forechecking).”

Krebs practices

Knights 2019 first-round pick Peyton Krebs practiced with the team Tuesday as an extra on the fourth line.

Krebs, the 17th overall pick, has been rehabbing in Las Vegas after undergoing surgery for a partially torn Achilles tendon he suffered before the draft. The center is the Review-Journal’s No. 3 Knights prospect.

“He looked excellent,” Gallant said. “I was really happy to see him out there. I know he’s excited.”

There and back again

The Knights recalled Glass, center Nicolas Roy and defenseman Nicolas Hague after sending them to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves on Monday. Roy and Hague have shuffled between the AHL and NHL multiple times this season to create additional space under the salary cap.

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

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

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