Golden Knights vs. Coyotes
Knights win 6-1
RJ’s three stars
3. Knights goalie Robin Lehner — Made his third straight start and finished with 29 saves. The Knights limited Arizona’s scoring chances. Lehner only had to make a handful of difficult stops.
2. Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb — He finished with a career-high three points, including a goal in the third period, and a plus-3 rating. It was McNabb’s first multipoint outing since Feb. 4, 2020.
1. Knights left wing Max Pacioretty — Was credited with the game-winning goal in his return after missing the past 12 games with an undisclosed injury. He also drew a third-period penalty and had four shots on goal.
Evgenii Dadonov’s second-period goal.
The Knights took their foot off the gas after going ahead 2-0 and allowed the Coyotes to get back in the game. But they regained control thanks to Dadonov’s breakaway in the opening minute of the second.
Dadonov slipped behind the Arizona defense near the end of his shift. Defenseman Shea Theodore fired a long outlet pass through the neutral zone to spring the winger.
Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka looked like he initially made a glove save. But the puck popped free as Vejmelka slid into his net. He was unable to prevent Dadonov’s 18th goal and first in five games.
17 — Elapsed time in seconds between the Knights goals in the first period. It’s their fastest two goals since Dec. 6, 2018, when the Knights scored twice in 12 seconds to beat Chicago.
Stone takes significant step
The Knights captain is practicing with the team again.
Mark Stone was at Saturday’s morning skate at City National Arena, but did not play against the Coyotes. It was his first time participating in team activities since Feb. 8 due to a back injury.
Stone was previously skating away from the rest of the Knights with Pacioretty, who returned to the lineup Saturday.
“Great next step for us that (Stone is) out there rejoining our group,” coach Pete DeBoer said.
Stone, who has eight goals and 20 assists in 28 games, remains on long-term injured reserve. The Knights would need to clear cap space to activate him and his $9.5 million cap hit.
That’s why the team tried to move left wing Evgenii Dadonov and his $5 million cap hit at the trade deadline to Anaheim. The trade was voided because Dadonov had the Ducks on his 10-team no trade list.
The Knights took a different approach to clearing space Friday by placing injured players Brett Howden and Nic Hague on long-term injured reserve, according to the website CapFriendly. The team could get enough cap space to activate Stone by also placing William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit — who are all unavailable — on long-term injured reserve.
Milestone for Eichel
Center Jack Eichel appeared in his 400th career NHL game Saturday, a notable event considering where Eichel was a few months ago.
Eichel underwent artificial disk replacement surgery on his neck in November, the first time the procedure was performed on an NHL player, and was out of action for a total of 11 months.
He returned Feb. 16 and has played in 25 games for the Knights. Eichel’s goal late in the third period was his 11th since being activated from long-term injured reserve.
Knights’ remaining games
At Vancouver, 7 p.m. Tuesday
At Calgary, 6 p.m. Thursday
At Edmonton, 1 p.m. Saturday
Vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m. April 18
Vs. Washington, 7 p.m. April 20
Vs. San Jose, 7 p.m. April 24
At Dallas, 5:30 p.m. April 26
At Chicago, 5:30 p.m. April 27
At St. Louis, 5 p.m. April 29
Contact David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.