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Golden Knights rest while awaiting word on Mark Stone’s health

The Golden Knights used the extended break for some team bonding.

After Wednesday’s lopsided loss at Calgary, the team traveled to Lake Louise at Banff National Park in Alberta.

The Knights’ social media accounts posted pictures Thursday of several players on the lake wearing skates and holding sticks as the snow-covered Canadian Rockies provided a breathtaking backdrop.

The next day, they were practicing indoors at a rink in Banff, Alberta, and working out the kinks before taking off Saturday and Sunday.

The team did not have media availability after its winter excursion, and there was no update on the status of right wing Mark Stone, who missed the game against the Flames with an upper-body injury.

Coach Pete DeBoer said after Wednesday’s game that Stone would return to Las Vegas and undergo further evaluation.

“Something he’s been dealing with off and on for a while here now,” DeBoer said.

Stone was at less than full strength during training camp and sustained a noncontact injury during the second game of the regular season Oct. 14 at Los Angeles. Doctors determined he did not need surgery on what the team called a lower-body injury, and Stone returned a month later.

But he missed the Dec. 19 game at the New York Islanders with an upper-body injury and has struggled to stay healthy since, including a stint in COVID-19 protocol.

Stone appeared in the All-Star Game on Feb. 5 at T-Mobile Arena and played 15:44 against Edmonton on Tuesday before he sat out the second of back-to-back games at Calgary.

Stone’s absence could pave the way for the Knights to activate center Jack Eichel from long-term injured reserve before Wednesday’s home game against Colorado if he is ready. The Knights need to clear about $5.1 million in salary cap space to fit Eichel on the roster, and Stone ($9.5 million cap hit) could be placed on LTIR to create room.

Stone remained on the active roster as of Saturday afternoon, according to the NHL media website.

Eichel practiced with full contact Monday for the first time since he underwent artificial disk replacement surgery on his neck Nov. 12. He was given a three- to five-month recovery period.

Defenseman Alec Martinez also remains on LTIR, but appears close to returning after a bout with COVID-19 and facial/head injuries sustained Nov. 11 when he was kicked by the skate of Minnesota forward Brandon Duhaime.

Brisson in Beijing

Golden Knights prospect Brendan Brisson scored his second goal at the Olympics for Team USA in Friday’s 4-2 victory over Canada.

Brisson, a sophomore at Michigan and 2020 first-round pick, put the U.S. ahead 3-1 in the second period when he skated into the slot and sent a backhand past Canadian goalie Edward Pasquale. It turned out to be the decisive goal.

Brisson is one of 15 college players for Team USA, which takes on Germany in its final group game Sunday.

Silver Knights update

Defenseman Layton Ahac made his American Hockey League season debut in Friday’s loss at Bakersfield.

Ahac, a third-round pick in 2019, underwent offseason surgery for an undisclosed injury and was sidelined for six months.

“I just want to go out there, get my groove on and have fun,” Ahac said. “For future injuries I was able to work on my other shoulder, but also lifting in the gym every day, working out, skating. I feel great physically. I put on a ton of good weight and strength.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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