Hurting at goalie, division leader Knights take on Blues

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights have overcome a slew of goaltending injuries to remain atop the Pacific Division.

They will try to continue that trend Sunday when they visit the St. Louis Blues.

No. 1 Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner is out this season while recovering from hip surgery. Logan Thompson, Laurent Brossoit and Adin Hill are sidelined with lower-body injuries.

The Golden Knights acquired veteran Jonathan Quick this month to fill in for the injured goalies, and they recalled Jiri Patera their AHL team in Henderson for their ongoing five-game trip.

Quick bounced quickly from the Los Angeles Kings to the Columbus Blue Jackets, then to the Golden Knights before the NHL trade deadline.

He earned a 33-save shutout as Vegas blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday.

“Just grateful for the opportunity they’re giving me here,” Quick told AT&T Sportsnet after the game. “Just trying to help these guys win some games.”

Quick is 3-0-0 with a .939 save percentage in his first three starts for the Golden Knights.

“They compete, they find ways to win,” he said. “It’s a fun team to play on.”

Patera became the sixth goaltender to dress for Vegas this season and could become the fifth to start if he gets the call Sunday.

The Golden Knights will catch the Blues in the early stages of a major retooling. Blues coach Craig Berube continues to experiment with his forward lines and defensive pairings.

He has gained positive results by putting young power forward Alexey Toropchenko with playmaking center Robert Thomas and speedy winger Jordan Kyrou on a new No. 1 line.

Kyrou scored a hat trick Saturday, Thomas had two assists, and Toropchenko had one helper as the Blues earned a 5-2 road victory over the Blue Jackets. Kyrou put five shots on goal was a constant threat.

“He attacked and shot the puck,” Berube said. “He could have had more than that, probably, with some of the chances he had. He’s a dangerous player. When he’s skating and he’s on his toes and attacking, a lot of good things (happen).”

The Blues also have received better play recently from defenseman Colton Parayko, who was minus-21 during the first four months of the season but plus-6 since then despite the team’s overall struggles.

“I think it’s just natural when sometimes things don’t go right, you obviously overthink things,” Parayko said. “Hockey’s a funny game, it happens fast. Sometimes, the more that you overthink, sometimes the things tend to get worse. You’re wondering why when you’re trying to solve the problem, you’re trying to figure out.”

Thomas Greiss started for the Blues on Saturday, so Berube is likely to come back with Jordan Binnington against Vegas.

The Golden Knights and Blues split their first two games this season. The Blues won 3-2 on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas, with Brandon Saad and the since-departed Ryan O’Reilly and Ivan Barbashev scoring the goals.

Vegas won the second meeting 5-4 at home on Dec. 23, with Chandler Stephenson enjoying a four-point game (goal, three assists) and Michael Amadio adding a goal and two assists.

–Field Level Media

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