Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo leaves the team’s road trip with an upper-body injury. He returns home for further evaluation and will miss the next three games, minimum. Head coach Peter Deboer announced Pietrangelo’s absence during Wednesday morning’s press conference.
Alex Pietrangelo has left the team and returned to Las Vegas for further evaluation, according to DeBoer.
Mark Stone is a game time decision. #VegasBorn
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) March 10, 2021
Pietrangelo Injured, Misses Road Trip
Alex Pietrangelo’s injury occurred in the final minutes of the Golden Knights’ Saturday night game against the San Jose Sharks after he blocked a shot up high near his wrist. The first-pair defenceman remained on the bench thereafter in visible discomfort. His injury was confirmed before Vegas’ Monday night loss against the Minnesota Wild. Also missing from that game was captain Mark Stone who is another potential roster casualty. He is a game-time decision for tonight’s second meeting with the Wild.
When questioned about Pietrangelo‘s status Deboer said, “I’m not concerned it’s long, long term. But he’s definitely out for the foreseeable future.”
Pietrangelo hasn’t dominated as expected so far this season but has still contributed to a juggernaut Golden Knights’ outfit. He is tied second in scoring on defence with two goals and 10 points in 18 games. Meanwhile, Mark Stone leads the team in assists (21) and points (27). He was recently named the NHL’s First Star of the week after tallying 10 points in four games.
What This Means Going Forward
This is arguably Vegas’ toughest stretch of the season so far. To make matters worse, they now could be without their best offensive and defensive talents while facing series against the second and third-placed teams in the West Division. If they were to lose their next three matches they would surrender the top spot.
In response to the Alex Pietrangelo injury, Peter Deboer deployed Nicolas Hague and Zach Whitecloud in increased roles during Monday night’s loss. They have performed well together as a second pair. Pietrangelo’s absence also gives rookie Dylan Coghlan an opportunity to boost his on-ice minutes. The Golden Knights signed Coghlan, an undrafted free agent, in 2017 after he attended their development camp in the lead-up to their inaugural season in the NHL.