weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Knights’ No. 1 defenseman ready to return from suspension

Alex Pietrangelo said he was sweating.

The Golden Knights’ No. 1 defenseman could only watch Friday’s back-and-forth Game 5 against the Edmonton Oilers at T-Mobile Arena, where his team flipped a 2-1 deficit into a 4-3 win. He was suspended one game for slashing Oilers center Leon Draisaitl with 1:27 remaining in his team’s 4-1 loss in Game 4 of the second-round series.

Pietrangelo said sitting on the sidelines wasn’t a fun experience. The other players he was watching with thought he was crazy because of how excited he was at the end, he said.

Luckily for him, he’ll be back in the lineup when the Knights have the chance to advance in Game 6. Getting Pietrangelo back should provide a massive boost for a team looking to reach its fourth semifinal in six years.

“It is what it is,” Pietrangelo said. “You guys all saw it. I’m not going sit here and dwell on it. The league took care of it, right? Move on. … There’s been a lot of shots both ways. Let’s just say that.”

Pietrangelo’s slash on Draisaitl seemed to carry a lot of frustration.

Pietrangelo had been on the receiving end of several late or unnecessary hits in the series. Edmonton right wing Evander Kane cross-checked Pietrangelo in the face after the first-period buzzer sounded in Game 3. Kane also sent Pietrangelo hard into the boards from behind less than three minutes before the slash in Game 4.

That hit led to a scrum that resulted in Kane and right wing Jonathan Marchessault getting misconduct penalties with 3:58 remaining.

“It’s pretty obvious what’s going on,” Pietrangelo said. “I mean, there’s premeditated stuff I’m pretty sure coming at me. … I’ll get up and take it. I’m not going to lay on the ice like what’s going on (with the Oilers).”

Pietrangelo was impressed with the way defenseman Ben Hutton played as his replacement in the lineup. Hutton wasn’t on the ice for a goal for or against in 12:24. He received a high stick that drew blood from left wing Warren Foegele 7:57 into the third period, giving the Knights a four-minute power play.

“I saw him postgame,” Pietrangelo said. “He got him pretty good. His face was pretty cut up. Didn’t deter him to keep going for that shift, so he’s a tough guy.”

The Oilers had a harder time replacing their No. 1 defenseman in Game 5 in Darnell Nurse, who was suspended for instigating a fight with defenseman Nic Hague with 50 seconds remaining in Game 4. Nurse’s replacement, 21-year-old Philip Broberg, was called for two holding penalties in 6:01 of ice time.

Goalie info

Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said goaltender Laurent Brossoit, who suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3 and hasn’t played since, will not travel with the team for Game 6.

Goaltender Adin Hill has a .927 save percentage this series filling in for Brossoit in two starts and two relief appearances.

The Oilers, one loss from elimination, have to decide who will start opposite Hill. Rookie Stuart Skinner was pulled for the second time this series and for the third time this postseason after allowing four goals on 23 shots in Game 5.

Skinner’s save percentage is .890 in the playoffs. Edmonton’s other option is Jack Campbell, who had an .888 save percentage in the regular season but is 5-1 in his career against the Knights.

Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft didn’t name a Game 6 starter Saturday.

“We’re going to reserve the right to take the time that we have before we have to make that decision,” Woodcroft said.

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

Don't miss the latest VGK news. Like our Golden Edge page