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Golden Knights Shut Out Avalanche

Steve Marcus

Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson (71) scores a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) defends at right. STEVE MARCUS

William Karlsson is dealing with a lower-body injury that will keep the Golden Knights’ center out for the remainder of the week, coach Bruce Cassidy said today.

Karlsson did not practice in Vegas’ first session since returning from the Winter Classic in Seattle, where the Golden Knights lost 3-0 to the Kraken on Monday.

Cassidy said he doesn’t expect Karlsson out for long, but he will not play Thursday in the Stanley Cup Final rematch against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Vegas 34) or against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Fourth-line forward Keegan Kolesar (illness) was also absent from practice but is expected to play Thursday.

With Karlsson out, Cassidy has switched up the line combinations to a formula that worked well last season. Jack Eichel and Mark Stone were split from the first line, with Jonathan Marchessault skating with Eichel and Ivan Barbashev.

Stone was reunited with longtime linemate Chandler Stephenson. Rookie Pavel Dorofeyev skated on the left side. Brett Howden was in that role last postseason, so Cassidy could go back to that, as well.

Those combinations were what the Golden Knights used throughout their run to the Stanley Cup last season. Eichel led the Golden Knights with 26 points in the playoffs, while Marchessault’s 13 goals led to him receiving the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Stone (24) and Stephenson (20) joined Eichel and Marchessault as the only players to reach 20 points in the playoffs.

“We figured we may go back to that at some point,” Cassidy said. “Tomorrow, we’re going to look at that and see if it balances a little better.”

Losing Karlsson is a blow to the Golden Knights in all facets. His 15 goals are third most on the team behind Marchessault (17) and Eichel (16), and his 32 points are on pace to surpass last season’s total of 53.

More notably, Karlsson is an integral part of the special teams. Eleven of his points have come on the power play, and he’s usually part of the first penalty killing unit with Eichel.

Karlsson is the latest injured player on a roster already dealing with major injuries. Defenseman Shea Theodore is still week-to-week with an upper-body injury, while Adin Hill continues to recover from a lower-body injury that’s kept him out since Nov. 30.

Vegas has lost five of its last six games and is 2-6-0 in its last eight. Without the Golden Knights’ best 200-foot player, Cassidy said he’s looking for young players Dorofeyev and Paul Cotter to rise to the occasion.

“We lose him in that sort of third role, so it’s going to be up to some younger guys to step up,” he said.

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun