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Golden Knights could get 2 more injured players back

Center Jack Eichel and left wing Paul Cotter provided a huge lift for the Golden Knights in their first game back from injuries Thursday.

More help might soon be on the way.

Injured right wing Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Alec Martinez were full participants in Friday’s practice at City National Arena. Coach Bruce Cassidy said Marchessault has a chance to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena but was less definitive about Martinez.

“I feel pretty good,” Marchessault said. “I’ve done everything I could do to come back to the lineup. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but I’m definitely trending in the right direction.”

Marchessault has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury.

He’s tied for third on the team in goals with 14 and ranks seventh in points with 27. He skated on a line with Eichel and longtime linemate Reilly Smith on Friday. That moved Nicolas Roy off that line to his usual spot at fourth-line center.

“I haven’t seen that line together, but I’ve seen Jack and (Smith) play, and I’ve seen (Smith) and (Marchessault) play, so if you connect all the dots, maybe there’s something there,” Cassidy said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”

Martinez has missed the past four games after getting hurt blocking a shot Dec. 27 against the Kings.

It was Martinez’s 132nd block of the season, which leads the NHL. New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba is second with 97, and Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb is third with 96.

Martinez skated on the third pair Friday with rookie Brayden Pachal. Cassidy said he would talk with Martinez and the training staff before determining if the veteran would return to the lineup Saturday. After Saturday’s game, the Knights don’t play again until Thursday, so they might decide to give Martinez more time.

Thompson reacts to selection

Two rookie goaltenders have appeared in an NHL All-Star Game in the past 22 years.

San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov in 2001. Anaheim’s John Gibson in 2016. Knights goaltender Logan Thompson can be the third during All-Star Weekend on Feb. 3 and 4 at the Florida Panthers’ FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

Thompson was named the Knights’ representative for the Pacific Division All-Star roster Thursday. The rookie is tied for third in the NHL in wins with 18, and his .915 save percentage is tied for 15th among goaltenders with at least 10 starts.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t really expecting it.”

Thompson was one of two rookies named to the event, along with Seattle center Matty Berniers. He’s the second Knights goaltender to be named an All Star after Marc-Andre Fleury was three times.

“For (Thompson) to do it in his first year, it’s impressive,” said captain Mark Stone, who appeared in his first All-Star Game last season. “He’s given us a chance to win every night he’s played.”

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

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