The Golden Knights experimented with their bottom six in their 2-1 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
Early in the first period, left wing William Carrier moved from the fourth line to the third. That allowed Alex Tuch to shift from left wing to his natural position on the right, with rookie Cody Glass moving to the fourth line.
There was no word after the game if the moves would be permanent, but they caused an immediate impact.
“It’s a little different,” Tuch said. “(Carrier) does provide a little bit more speed and stuff. He’s really physical and causes a lot of turnovers in that sense. It wasn’t a knock on Cody.”
The Knights’ third line of center Cody Eakin, Glass and Tuch has struggled this season with Tuch and Glass, a natural center, playing out of position. The three have had only 43.33 percent of the shot attempts when they’re on the ice at 5-on-5, the lowest percentage among the team’s four lines.
Friday’s switch might be one way to remedy that issue. Eakin, Tuch and Carrier allowed no high-danger scoring chances in 7:30 together and had two of their own.
“I like playing with Will,” Tuch said. “I’ve played with him a couple times in the past. Really easy, straight-line guy. Likes to be on the forecheck, so I thought it worked out well.”
Pacific Division battle
The Knights improved to 7-3-1 against the Pacific Division. They also moved to third in the standings with 30 points, behind the Edmonton Oilers (35) and Coyotes (34).
“There’s no bad teams in our division,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “I look at the standings, one day we’re in third or fourth place and the next day we’re in second-to-last. You have to win every night to stay up. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s going to be all year long.”
Sparks sent down
The Knights sent goaltender Garret Sparks to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves after Friday’s game. Sparks was Malcolm Subban’s backup the past two games after Marc-Andre Fleury left for Quebec. Fleury’s father died Wednesday at age 63.