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Golden Knights report: Star center not ruled out for Olympics

Golden Knights at Bruins

Knights win 4-1

RJ’s three stars

3. Knights right wing Mark Stone — He had two assists for his fifth multi-point game of the season as he extended his point streak to nine games. He has four goals and 11 assists in that span.

2. Knights center Chandler Stephenson — He recorded three assists to give him seven his last two games. He is the first player in franchise history to have three-plus assists in consecutive games.

1. Knights left wing Max Pacioretty — He scored twice to extend his goal-scoring streak to seven games, tied for the longest in the NHL this season with Toronto’s Auston Matthews. His point streak also reached nine games.

Key play

Pacioretty’s first goal.

The play started with Stone recovering a puck in the defensive zone and sending a pass off the boards to Stephenson in the neutral zone. From there, the center fired a diagonal pass that caught Pacioretty’s stick just before his left skate entered the offensive zone for a breakaway.

Pacioretty used a forehand move to beat rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman five-hole and give him a career-long goal streak. It was the first of two goals on the night that featured all three members of the Knights’ top line.

Key stat

16 — The number of points Pacioretty has scored since returning from a broken bone in his foot Nov. 24, second-most in the NHL behind Matthews.

Stone has 15 in the same span, tied for the fourth-most behind Matthews, Pacioretty and Toronto’s John Tavares.

Eichel not ruled out for Olympics

Newly named Team USA Olympic general manager Bill Guerin on Tuesday did not rule out Knights center Jack Eichel for the upcoming Winter Games.

Guerin, who is also the GM of the Minnesota Wild, said he’s talked to Eichel’s agent Pat Brisson about the player’s availability but wouldn’t disclose specifics. Eichel, who has represented the U.S. at the youth and senior levels, is recovering from a November neck surgery and has resumed skating. His initial recovery timeline was three-to-five months.

Eichel said after being traded to the Knights in November he wanted to wait to see whether he could come back in time for the Olympics.

“The Olympics, I think it’s a goal of any hockey player to be able to represent your country there,” Eichel said. “Vegas has made a big commitment to me and so my commitment’s to them. I don’t want to rush anything. I just want to give myself as much time as I can to get back, and I guess we’ll see when the date is that I feel that I’m most comfortable to come back and play.”

The NHL’s Olympic participation as a whole is a question mark as players grapple with the potential of tight COVID-19 restrictions in China. Knights goaltender Robin Lehner has declined to participate for Team Sweden. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, one of three players already named to Team Canada’s roster, is uncertain if he will go.

Knights’ next 10

At New Jersey, 4 p.m. Thursday

At N.Y. Rangers, 4 p.m. Friday

At N.Y. Islanders, 11 a.m. Sunday

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

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

Vs. Colorado, 7 p.m. Dec. 27

At Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28

Vs. Anaheim, noon Dec. 31

Vs. Winnipeg, 1 p.m. Jan. 2

Vs. Nashville, 7 p.m. Jan. 4

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

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