The Vegas Golden Knights may face a slight hiccup tonight when they try and take a 3-0 stranglehold in the Western Conference Final. Center Chandler Stephenson missed this morning’s practice with an illness, although head coach Bruce Cassidy still expects him to be available tonight.
Stephenson sits third on the team in scoring with 13 points in 13 games so far in the postseason, and he’s been an invaluable secondary scorer for Vegas over the past number of seasons. His seven goals are tied for the team lead with William Karlsson, and he’s averaging over 18 minutes per game. If Stephenson isn’t well enough to play tonight, expect the 27-year-old Michael Amadio to draw back into the lineup. He’s been scratched from the team’s last four games to make way for Teddy Blueger to enter the lineup.
- Dallas Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpää took pregame skate this morning and is expected to play in tonight’s Game 3 against Vegas, per Stars radio analyst Bruce LeVine. The 31-year-old defensive stalwart missed the last three games with an upper-body injury. The 6-foot-7 Finn contributed a career-high 16 points and +18 rating during the regular season.
- New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton wasn’t 100% when his team bowed out to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Second Round, and today, The Fourth Period’s James Nichols reports Hamilton had surgery to repair his right wrist. Per Nichols, Hamilton is expected to be ready for the start of the 2023-24 season, although he doesn’t offer clarity on whether this affects his availability for training camp. The 29-year-old is entering the third season of a seven-year, $63MM contract signed with the Devils in 2021.