Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | 11:11 a.m.
DALLAS — Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson did not participate in morning skate due to an illness but is expected to be available tonight for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars (5 p.m., ESPN).
Stephenson scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 2, a 3-2 victory for Vegas to give them a 2-0 series lead heading into American Airlines Center.
“He’s a little under the weather, so we held him out this morning,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’m going to assume he’s going to go. We’ll find out tonight, but that’s the plan.”
In the event Stephenson can’t play, Nicolas Roy is expected to take his place alongside Mark Stone and Brett Howden. Michael Amadio would draw into the lineup at right wing with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith in the spot Roy currently occupies.
Karlsson would replace Stephenson on the first power-play unit, as well.
Stephenson got off to a strong start in the playoffs, with eight points in the five-game, first-round series win against Winnipeg. But he has since quieted down, with five points in the eight games since. His 13 points are third most for the Golden Knights this postseason, behind Stone and Jack Eichel.
Stephenson’s goal in Game 2 was his first since Game 1 in the second round against Edmonton.
Should the Golden Knights go into a crucial Game 3 without their All-Star center, they’ll have to rely on their depth again. Amadio had a career-high 16 goals during the regular season and was a constant in the lineup before Teddy Blueger replaced him in Game 5 against Edmonton.
Blueger has provided a defensive presence on the fourth line and the Golden Knights are 4-0 since he went into the lineup.
“I think it helps with the depth we have, that we have four lines that can go against anybody,” defenseman Nic Hague said. “We just do a good job staying in the moment and embracing the situation we’re in.”
Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at twitter.com/DannyWebster21.