The Golden Knights’ best skater will be out for a while.
Right wing Mark Stone missed his second straight game Sunday and is considered week-to-week with a lower-body injury, coach Pete DeBoer said. DeBoer said Stone’s injury will not require surgery and the Knights’ highest-paid player is expected to return by the end of the regular season.
“That’s where we’re at,” DeBoer said. “He’s going to be out for a little bit here.”
Stone played Wednesday in the Knights’ 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers and hasn’t skated with the team since. Before his injury he was the Knights’ leading scorer with 63 points and led the NHL in takeaways with 78.
His impact is felt all over the ice. Stone is a playmaker on offense, a bloodhound on defense and an alternate captain. His passionate goal celebrations are beloved and he’s considered one of the Knights’ emotional leaders.
The team will have to learn to play without his presence as it chases its second Pacific Division crown in three seasons. The Knights’ regular season concludes April 4 against the Vancouver Canucks, giving Stone a month-plus to return before the playoffs.
Martinez faces former team
Defenseman Alec Martinez saw some familiar faces 12 days after his trade to the Knights.
Martinez played against the Kings — the team he played 597 games for and won two Stanley Cups with — for the first time Sunday. He said after the morning skate he wasn’t overly emotional, but admitted his return to Staples Center next season might be different.
“To be honest, this is uncharted territory for me,” said Martinez, who was drafted by Los Angeles in 2007 and debuted in 2009. “I’ve never really been through this before.”
Left wing Brandon Pirri played for the Knights for the first time since Nov. 10 on Sunday.
Pirri, 28, had one assist in 11 games before being waived by the Knights on Nov. 16. He was recalled Saturday after playing 38 games for the Chicago Wolves and scoring 35 points.
Pirri, who has seen the Knights call up six other forwards and trade for two more since he was waived, said he didn’t think about whether his NHL career was over.
“It’s my 10th year,” Pirri said. “I know if you’re thinking about that stuff, you’re wasting your time. I just went down there, had fun and played.”
Quinney sent down
Rookie forward Gage Quinney was sent to the AHL on Sunday.
Quinney, the first Nevada-born player to appear in an NHL game, has one assist in three appearances.