After missing Friday’s game against Philadelphia for personal reasons, Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson should be available for Sunday’s home tilt against the Minnesota Wild, according to head coach Peter DeBoer. Stephenson’s brought lights-out play for a Vegas team that’s needed him this season with a slew of injuries, producing at a career-best pace with 22 points in 25 games. All that’s been done while playing steep minutes (19:48 a game) and spending time without his usual pair of elite wingers in Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. That line’s been reunited as Pacioretty and Stone are back healthy, and after Keegan Kolesar filled in down the middle for one game, Stephenson will return to his place atop the center depth chart for Vegas.
More from the Pacific Division:
- There are some injury updates for the new and improved Vancouver Canucks under Bruce Boudreau, as the new head coach said today that Oliver Ekman-Larsson should be back next week, while Travis Hamonic is expected to miss two to three more weeks. While the team is undefeated under Boudreau, they’re facing a significant list of injuries. However, neither Ekman-Larsson nor Hamonic have been particularly impactful to start the year. Ekman-Larsson has just five points in 26 games to start his Vancouver career, a far cry from his peak of consistent 40-point campaigns. Hamonic has just an assist in nine contests as he’s found his way up and down between the NHL and AHL.
- Injury news isn’t improving for the Edmonton Oilers defense, as head coach Dave Tippett notes that Kris Russell will be out for a couple of weeks. He joins Duncan Keith and Slater Koekkoek as Edmonton’s inactive blueliners. He’d been playing in an increased role with those injuries, but that responsibility now falls back on the shoulders of young defensemen Philip Broberg and William Lagesson.