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Peyton Krebs gains confidence with Golden Knights

Peyton Krebs has been practicing with the Golden Knights for more than a month. In that time, the 2019 first-round pick made an important discovery.

“For me, I realized I can play for sure in the NHL,” Krebs said.

Krebs gave a glimpse into his experience with the Knights as a guest this week on the ICE Breaker Show. The podcast is loosely affiliated with his major-junior team, the Winnipeg Ice, of the Western Hockey League.

The 19-year-old forward is a member of the Knights’ taxi squad and absorbing as many lessons as he can from his first cup of coffee in the NHL.

Krebs has yet to appear in a game, but said the biggest adjustment from juniors to practices in the NHL has been creating enough space to make a play for teammates.

“You can win that first battle, but there’s going to be a guy right on your tail for that second battle,” Krebs told host Mack Heisinger, who works for the Winnipeg Ice.

Krebs is also improving his vision and learning to play off linemates who are more skilled. That means give-and-gos, chip passes and finding new ways to move the puck into open space, such as playing it off the boards.

“You’re always looking for the perfect pass, but you don’t realize there’s a banked pass,” Krebs said. “You don’t have to go through six guys to get that perfect pass. You can do a banked pass that will do the exact same thing.”

Krebs said he’s spent most of his free time in Edmonton, Alberta, at the golf simulator with teammates. He also admitted to being a little star struck walking around the bubble and seeing players such as Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.

“I’m having a blast. Maybe some guys not as much because they have families, but a young guy like me, getting this opportunity, I’m living the dream,” Krebs said. “Now it’s just the next step of getting in a game. Who knows?”

Lineup changes

Center Paul Stastny was in the lineup after a two-game absence and returned to his place between Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith.

Stastny scored his first goal of the postseason and also set up Smith for the overtime winner in Game 2, but was ruled unfit to play for the back to back last weekend.

Chandler Stephenson replaced Patrick Brown as the center on the fourth line with William Carrier and Ryan Reaves.

Coach Pete DeBoer opted to leave the third line intact, and for good reason.

Entering Tuesday, Nick Cousins, Nicolas Roy and Alex Tuch were on the ice for 65.7 percent of the shot attempts and 61.2 percent of the scoring chances at five-on-five, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

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

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