Alex Pietrangelo’s return sure to be a ‘spark’ for Golden Knights

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Wednesday’s matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings. Golden Knights-Kings stream coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

How deep is the Golden Knights team that’s been constructed over the past several seasons? They’ve been without Alex Pietrangelo for 12 games and not missed a beat, reeling off eight wins in 12 games and keeping a hold on the West Division lead over the Avalanche and Wild.

Vegas received some good news earlier this week when Pietrangelo joined them for Monday’s morning skate. Wearing a red no-contact jersey, the veteran defenseman is considered day-to-day, but is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve on Wednesday. Head coach Pete DeBoer wouldn’t pinpoint an exact return date, but Pietrangelo’s presence on the ice was encouraging after blocking a shot with a his arm during a March 6 win over the Sharks.

“I particularly really liked how he played the last 10 games prior to the injury,” DeBoer said this week. “With our schedule in April, we’re going to need all hands on deck.”

[GOLDEN KNIGHTS-KINGS COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

The Golden Knights play 17 games in 30 days in April, including key two-game sets against the Wild, Kings, and Avalanche. Entering Wednesday’s game against LA, Vegas holds a one-point lead over Colorado for the top spot in the West with a game in-hand.

An all-situations player, Alex Pietrangelo has two goals and 10 points and leads the team in ice time with 25:27 through 18 games. The April 12 NHL trade deadline is fast approaching, and this will be an acquisition that will boost the Golden Knights without having to give up any assets.

“For sure it’s going to be a spark,” DeBoer said. “You’re adding one of the best defensemen in the world to your lineup. … I thought every night he was getting better and was starting to control games on both ends of the rink. He was starting to really get comfortable so hopefully he can come in and pick up where he left off.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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