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Knights face more adversity with captain sidelined for ‘a while’

Updated February 21, 2024 - 6:17 pm

Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will miss time with an upper-body injury suffered during Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Nashville Predators, according to multiple sources.

The issue is not related to Stone’s previous back injuries.

Stone will not play in the Knights’ next game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. Thursday at T-Mobile Arena. He is considered week to week with his injury. Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Stone is “going to be out of our lineup for a while” Wednesday on an appearance on “The Sick Podcast — The Eye Test.”

Stone appeared to get shaken up after a collision with Predators forward Yakov Trenin late in the second period Tuesday. He did not play in the third.

“I mean, obviously we know how special of a player Mark is, but any of our guys, you never want to see a guy go down,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said Tuesday night. “We’re obviously fighting some injuries right now. We’ll see where things go tomorrow. But tough when your captain goes down like that. I thought we tried to push as hard as we could for him. Those are the ones you want to win for your captain.”

Stone, 31, has appeared in all 56 games for the Knights (32-18-6) so far this season and scored a team-leading 53 points.

It was a welcome healthy stretch after he battled back issues the previous two years. Stone missed 45 games in 2021-22 and 39 games in 2022-23 before returning for the Knights’ Stanley Cup championship run.

The team at least has some positive injury news to be excited about.

McCrimmon said center Jack Eichel is “not far off” from rejoining the lineup. Eichel hasn’t played since Jan. 11 because of a lower-body injury that required surgery. The 27-year-old has 44 points in 42 games this season.

“Jack’s rehab has gone on time, I guess would be the easiest way to say it,” McCrimmon said. “He’s not ready to go right now, but he’ll be playing in the not too distant future.”

McCrimmon said left wing William Carrier “should be back not too far into the future as well.” Carrier, 29, hasn’t played since Jan. 4 because of a shoulder injury. He has seven points in 33 games.

The Knights also welcomed defenseman Shea Theodore back Tuesday. Theodore appeared in his first game since Nov. 22 because of an upper-body injury that required surgery.

He finished with one assist and one shot on goal in 21:03 of ice time.

“How many games did he miss, 30? And he didn’t miss a stride,” Pietrangelo said. “I mean it’s going to take him a couple of games I’m sure to feel like himself, but thought he did a pretty darn good job for how long he’s missed, so credit to him for getting himself ready.”

Theodore said there are small details he still needs to have click for him to feel 100 percent back. The Knights would love for that to happen soon. The 28-year-old was having an incredible season before his injury, with 18 points in 20 games.

“I think it’s just the little plays that sometimes can take a little little time to get back,” Theodore said.

The Knights don’t have time to ease Theodore back into action.

They face the NHL’s leading goal scorer, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, twice in their next three games.

The Knights host the Maple Leafs (30-16-8) on Thursday and then head out on a five-game road trip that also includes visits to Ottawa, Boston, Buffalo and Columbus.

The team will look to leave T-Mobile Arena on a high note after losing three straight home games in regulation. The Knights lost just five times in regulation their first 26 home games.

“This is a hard stretch for us,” Pietrangelo said. “We’ve got a lot of good hockey teams this next week, so we got to flip the switch (and) get ready for Thursday.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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