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Golden Knights’ top goal scorer rejoins team after injury

Updated November 20, 2021 - 7:03 pm

The Golden Knights’ best goal scorer is back skating with the team but not quite ready to play.

Left wing Max Pacioretty took part in the Knights’ morning skate Saturday but won’t play against the Columbus Blue Jackets at T-Mobile Arena. Pacioretty has not been removed from injured reserve, according to the NHL’s media website. Saturday was his first time skating with the team since sustaining a lower-body fracture Oct. 14 against the Los Angeles Kings.

When Pacioretty returns, he will be the team’s latest reinforcement after captain Mark Stone and defenseman Zach Whitecloud came off injured reserve this homestand.

“When the injuries started piling up four weeks ago, this seemed like a long time in the distance,” DeBoer said. “It is energizing to our group to see guys start to filter back into practice.”

Pacioretty, who turned 33 Saturday, has 58 goals in 121 games in the past three seasons. He had two goals and an assist in the Knights’ opener against the Seattle Kraken.

Pacioretty will not play Saturday, but Mattias Janmark will after being a game-time decision. Defenseman Shea Theodore, injured in the third period of the Knights’ Tuesday loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, was scratched after wearing a noncontact jersey to practice Saturday morning.

Center Ben Jones entered the lineup Saturday for his NHL debut.

The 2017 seventh-round pick has four goals and two assists in 12 games with the Silver Knights this season. His parents and sister will be in attendance.

“It’s a bit challenging still to get over from Canada, so they dropped everything and came,” said Jones, who is from Waterloo, Ontario. “They’re both British, so they don’t really know a whole lot about hockey, but over the years they’ve picked up some stuff. … For me, it’s awesome to have them in town. I’m really happy that they got to be able to be here and celebrate the moment with me.”

Jones, 22, is the sixth Golden Knights player to make his NHL debut this season, after left wings Pavel Dorofeyev and Paul Cotter, center Jake Leschyshyn, right wing Jonas Rondbjerg and defenseman Daniil Miromanov. The Knights had only three players — center Peyton Krebs, defenseman Dylan Coghlan and goaltender Logan Thompson — make their debuts last season.

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

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