Golden Knights’ Max Pacioretty Inching Closer to Return

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Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty is close to returning to the lineup and traveled with the team on their latest road trip that has seen them play the St. Louis Blues on Monday and will finish on Wednesday when they take on the Nashville Predators.

“On the trip, not playing tonight,” Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said Monday when asked about Pacioretty’s status. “There’s a chance he’ll play on the trip. So I would term him day-to-day.”

Pacioretty, 33, hasn’t played since Oct. 14 when he suffered a fractured foot in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. At the time of the injury, he was expected to miss roughly six weeks, so he still remains on that same timeline. Prior to the injury, he had two goals and an assist in two games.

Getting Pacioretty back would be yet another positive development for the Golden Knights who are slowly starting to get back to health. While they still have many players on the shelf, they were able to get a few back last week in Mark Stone and Zach Whitecloud. The team as a whole has started to play much better as well after a slow start, putting up a 7-3-0 record over their past 10 games.

The Golden Knights acquired Pacioretty prior to the 2018-19 season from the Montreal Canadiens, and he has produced at a very impressive rate for them. In 187 games with Vegas, he has scored 80 goals and 160 points. His 24 goals during the 2020-21 season led the team.

Once he is able to return, he is likely to slot back in on the left side of the team’s top line alongside Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson, a role that Evgenii Dadonov currently finds himself in. Stephenson has been fantastic this season with 17 points in 19 contests, and should see those numbers get even better once Pacioretty is back in the lineup.

As mentioned, the Golden Knights are beginning to get healthy, but are still without a ton of roster players. As of Tuesday morning, they are still without Nolan Patrick, William Karlsson, Alec Martinez, and of course Jack Eichel, all due to injury. On top of that, Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier, and Mike Amadio all remain on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

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