The Vegas Golden Knights will be without a trio of key players in a pivotal divisional matchup tomorrow against the Edmonton Oilers. The team announced that forward Reilly Smith and goalie Logan Thompson have left their road trip and returned to Vegas to be evaluated for injuries, while defenseman Alec Martinez has returned to Vegas for personal reasons.
Both Smith and Thompson left last night’s win against the Calgary Flames with injuries. Smith did not return to the game after taking a hit along the boards from Flames forward Walker Duehr, while Thompson left late in the third period with a lower-body injury, potentially reaggravating the ailment that had kept him out for almost 20 games. It’s not a good sign for either that they needed to depart the road trip early to receive evaluations.
They’ll also be without Martinez for an unknown length of time, which is no small absence. Martinez has been critical this season, recording 13 points in 67 games and leading the team with a +21 rating on the top pairing alongside Alex Pietrangelo. Smith has again been one of Vegas’ most consistent scorers, tallying 51 points in 71 games.
Vegas has a tough schedule ahead of them, with four of their next five games against the red-hot Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild. They’ll need netminders Jonathan Quick and Laurent Brossoit, who’ve both been good for Vegas in limited samples this year, to carry their weight to keep Vegas’ cushion atop the Pacific Division.