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Knights forward out indefinitely with lower-body injury

Updated March 4, 2023 - 3:29 pm

Left wing William Carrier entered Friday in the midst of a breakout season for the Golden Knights.

Now, it’s unclear when he’ll see the ice again.

Carrier is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday. Carrier left the Knights’ 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday with 2:11 left in the first period and didn’t return.

“He’s going to be out for a while,” Cassidy said. “Tougher news than we were hoping for.”

Carrier has scored 16 goals this season, which ranks fifth on the Knights. That’s seven more than he’s ever had previously. Carrier’s 25 points are tied for the 10th-most on the team.

“His interior presence has been excellent for us,” Cassidy said. “He’s really complemented some of our skill guys in terms of (his) straight-line play.”

The Knights did add forward depth before Friday’s NHL trade deadline, which puts them in a better position to overcome Carrier’s absence. Left wing Ivan Barbashev was acquired from the St. Louis Blues, and center Teddy Blueger was brought in from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Carrier’s spot on the third line with center Chandler Stephenson and right wing Phil Kessel will go to rookie left wing Paul Cotter on Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens. Cotter has 11 goals and 15 points in 43 games this season, but was a healthy scratch Friday with Blueger making his Knights debut.

Cassidy said his message to Cotter on Friday was the 23-year-old needed to focus more on his defensive details, like his board battles and stick positioning. Cotter will now get to apply the lessons from that talk sooner than expected.

“It’s funny, you always leave it with, ‘Well, your next opportunity, be prepared to go,’” Cassidy said. “Here it is.”

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

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