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Stephenson a game-time decision for Golden Knights at Wild

Updated March 11, 2020 - 4:43 pm

As the Golden Knights’ list of injuries continues to mount, any bit of positive news is a welcome respite.

Forward Chandler Stephenson will travel with the team and is a game-time decision Thursday at Minnesota.

Meanwhile, coach Pete DeBoer said injured forward Alex Tuch will not be with the first-place Knights (39-24-8, 86 points) when they face the Wild at Xcel Energy Center in a possible first-round playoff matchup. Minnesota was one point out of a wild-card spot at the start of play Wednesday.

Neither Stephenson nor Tuch participated in practice Wednesday at City National Arena.

Stephenson was a late scratch (upper-body injury) for Monday’s 3-2 victory at Edmonton, and defenseman Jon Merrill played as a fourth-line wing.

It’s not clear when Stephenson was hurt. He assisted on Shea Theodore’s go-ahead goal with 1:10 remaining in the win at Calgary on Sunday and was on the ice for the game’s final shift as part of his 16:02 of ice time.

Tuch had a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury and returned to Las Vegas after being on the road with the Knights at the start of the trip. He was eligible to be activated from long-term injured reserve Monday.

Roster moves

Forwards Keegan Kolesar, Brandon Pirri and Nicolas Roy were recalled Wednesday from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.

Kolesar has played one game for the Knights, making his NHL debut Jan. 11 against Columbus.

Pirri has played 16 games this season with the Knights, with two assists and eight penalty minutes. Roy has been moved up and down between the two teams, playing 28 games for the Knights with five goals, five assists and eight penalty minutes.

Lehner to start

DeBoer will continue to alternate his goaltenders, meaning Robin Lehner will start against Minnesota.

Lehner is 3-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage since being acquired prior to the trade deadline.

“We don’t have a plan beyond the next game,” DeBoer said. “The next game we’re rotating, and then we’ll go from there.”

Stone on track

Mark Stone’s status remains the same — week to week.

The right wing continues to recover from a lower-body injury.

“Nothing’s changed,” DeBoer said. “I anticipate he’ll be back to play some regular-season games before the playoffs, but I don’t have any time frame other than that.”

Sick burn

Reilly Smith jabbed one of his former clubs while talking about the lack of fans for Wednesday’s practice.

Smith was asked how it felt without the usual crowd at City National Arena and noted it was no different than the other pregame skates with a far-from-capacity audience.

“I also played a few years in Florida with not that many fans, so I’m used to it,” Smith said.

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

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