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Golden Knights forward returns to practice from COVID protocol

Updated October 21, 2021 - 5:37 pm

The Golden Knights got another forward back at practice Thursday, one day after three injured players returned to the lineup.

Left wing Mattias Janmark skated with the Knights for the first time since going into COVID-19 protocols Oct. 11. He is the latest reinforcement for a battered group up front that got left wing William Carrier and right wings Nicolas Roy and Brett Howden back for Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Coach Pete DeBoer said Janmark was “an option” for Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers at T-Mobile Arena depending on how he feels.

“He’s been in COVID protocols, so he literally has done nothing for 10, 11 days other than what he can do at home,” DeBoer said. “It’ll be interesting to see how he feels today. We could sure use him.”

Janmark, 28, re-signed with the Knights on a one-year, $2 million deal in the offseason after joining the team at the trade deadline. The versatile forward had five points in 15 regular-season games and eight points in 16 playoff games. His most memorable moment was a hat trick that propelled the Knights to a 6-2 win in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.

Janmark skated on the fourth line Thursday, but DeBoer said his spot in the lineup, if he plays, hasn’t been determined. The Knights need as much help up front as they can get with captain Mark Stone, left wing Max Pacioretty and right wing Alex Tuch injured.

“You’ve just got to regroup and find a way,” Carrier said. “Obviously, our two good scorers are out. Trying to just play well defensively and keep those games tight.”

Martinez update

DeBoer said defenseman Alec Martinez was getting tests done Thursday morning after leaving Wednesday’s game in the third period.

Martinez was tripped 7:05 into the period by Blues left wing Klim Kostin in the corner of the defensive zone. The 34-year-old talked to a trainer on the bench before heading to the locker room and didn’t return.

Martinez plays on the top defensive pair with Alex Pietrangelo, and his leadership and toughness have been praised since he arrived in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings in 2020. He was the team’s third alternate captain Wednesday with Pietrangelo and right wing Reilly Smith.

Martinez led the NHL in blocked shots last season with 168 and played through a broken foot in the playoffs.

“You’re always concerned, especially when a guy like that limps off, because he’s as tough as they come,” DeBoer said after the game. “So if he’s limping off and not coming back, you know he’s hurt.”

Saad enters COVID-19 protocols

The Blues said left wing Brandon Saad will miss their game against the Kings on Saturday because of COVID-19 protocols.

Saad played Wednesday against the Knights and scored St. Louis’ first goal.

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

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