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Golden Knights lose another player to NHL’s COVID protocols

Updated November 16, 2021 - 1:23 pm

The Golden Knights are down another key player.

Left wing Jonathan Marchessault entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols Tuesday, one day after left wing William Carrier did. Marchessault is the Knights’ third player to enter the protocols this season. Left wing Mattias Janmark also did the day before the team’s Oct. 12 opener after getting the virus.

Marchessault attended the Raiders-Chiefs game Sunday at Allegiant Stadium with goaltender Robin Lehner, according to a picture posted on Lehner’s verified Twitter account, but coach Pete DeBoer said Lehner tested negative Monday and Tuesday.

DeBoer said Carrier is expected to be in the protocols for at least 10 days.

“I feel like the last year and a half there’s something new every day,” right wing Reilly Smith said. “You just kind of roll with the punches the best that you can.”

The Knights called up left wings Paul Cotter and Sven Baertschi with Marchessault and Carrier unavailable. The team is fully vaccinated and has had fewer issues with COVID-19 compared to last season, when it took a nine-day break between games early on and had several other schedule changes. Those problems arose even with players largely restricted to their homes and ice rinks.

The Knights are still dealing with numerous absences. They are without injured players Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Jack Eichel, Nolan Patrick and Zach Whitecloud.

“With us having our injury list that we do, we can’t afford to lose more guys to COVID protocol,” defenseman Shea Theodore said. “I think we’re doing all the necessary precautions to be careful on that stuff.”

Marchessault has been one of the Knights’ best skaters this season. He leads the team in goals with nine and is second in points with 13. He scored two goals in a 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, becoming the first player to reach 100 goals with the franchise.

Cotter, who turned 22 on Tuesday, impressed in his first two NHL games Nov. 9 and Thursday before being sent back to the American Hockey League. He scored his first goal in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and scored a goal Friday and Saturday for the Silver Knights.

Baertschi, 29, has four goals and four assists in 12 AHL games. He has 138 points in 291 NHL games.

The Knights aren’t the only team dealing with COVID-19 issues. The Ottawa Senators, whom the Knights played Nov. 4, had their games postponed through Saturday on Monday because they have 10 players in the protocols.

“The message is you’ve got to manage it, you’ve got to keep moving forward,” DeBoer said. “This is just another little piece of adversity we’ll have to deal with.”

DeBoer supports Viveiros

The Knights are hosting their annual Hockey Fights Cancer game Saturday, but DeBoer wore his custom sweatshirt to the team’s morning skate Tuesday.

He said he did it to support Silver Knights coach Manny Viveiros, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Viveiros took a leave of absence at the beginning of the season, returned to the bench Oct. 29 and is expected to go on leave again in December for surgery. Viveiros has been optimistic he will make a full recovery.

“It hits close to home,” DeBoer said. “He’s in a fight right now, and the prognosis looks positive, but it puts into perspective, if anything, some of these little things we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”

Injury updates

— DeBoer said defenseman Alec Martinez received encouraging news after getting tests done Monday. Martinez’s face was cut by Minnesota left wing Brandon Duhaime’s skate Thursday, and the Knights wanted to make sure there was no additional damage.

— Whitecloud is skating after having hand surgery, DeBoer said. The defenseman blocked a shot from Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith with his right hand Oct. 22 and hasn’t played since.

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

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