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Golden Knights report: Star center coming to Las Vegas this month

Golden Knights at Coyotes

Knights win 7-1

RJ’s three stars

3. Knights right wing Reilly Smith — He notched two assists, including one on the penalty kill, for his third two-point game of the season. He has three short-handed points. Twenty-six teams have two short-handed goals or fewer.

2. Knights center Nicolas Roy — He got a goal and assist for his fourth two-point game of the season and fifth of his career. He made a brilliant play to set up left wing Jonathan Marchessault for the Knights’ first goal.

1. Knights left wing Max Pacioretty — He scored two goals to extend his point streak to four games since coming back from a broken foot Nov. 24. It was his 56th career multigoal game. Only Alex Ovechkin (122), Steven Stamkos (80), Sidney Crosby (66) and Joe Pavelski (57) have more since Pacioretty entered the NHL in the 2008-09 season.

Key play

Pacioretty’s power-play goal.

The Knights sharpshooter’s first tally came right after he missed a chance set up by right wing Evgenii Dadonov. Defenseman Shea Theodore recovered the puck and got it back to Pacioretty above the right circle. Pacioretty took two strides and beat goaltender Karel Vejmelka with a wrist shot for his second power-play goal in two games.

It was the Knights’ third power-play goal in their past two games. They scored five power-play goals in their first 21 games.

Key stat

14 — The number of Knights with points.

All four forward lines and all three defensive pairs were on the ice for a five-on-five goal against the Coyotes. The team also got one goal apiece from its power play and penalty kill.

The only Knights left off the scoresheet were centers Adam Brooks and Keegan Kolesar and defensemen Brayden McNabb and Zach Whitecloud. The six players with two-point games were Pacioretty, Smith, Roy, Dadonov, Theodore and right wing Michael Amadio, who got his first goal with the team in his ninth game.

Eichel update

Jack Eichel, who is skating in North Carolina after his artificial disk replacement surgery in November, has been cleared to do everything but take contact, according to an ESPN intermission report during Friday’s game.

The star center is expected to come to Las Vegas in about three weeks to continue his rehab. General manager Kelly McCrimmon said after trading for Eichel his return-to-play timeline was three to five months after the procedure.

Eichel was the first NHL player to have artificial disk replacement surgery. He will not be the last. Chicago center Tyler Johnson had the same operation, according to TSN. Eichel’s choice could pave the way for the surgery to become more common for high-level athletes.

Knights’ next 10

Vs. Calgary, 7 p.m. Sunday

Vs. Dallas, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Friday

Vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m. Dec. 12

At Boston, 4 p.m. Dec. 14

At New Jersey, 4 p.m. Dec. 16

At N.Y. Rangers, 4 p.m. Dec. 17

At N.Y. Islanders, 11 a.m. Dec. 19

Vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. Dec. 21

Vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m. Dec. 23

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

Ben Gotz Review-Journal

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