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Martinez’s status up in air for Golden Knights against Oilers

Defenseman left Wednesday’s game late, did not practice Thursday. Janmark also returned.

Seattle Kraken v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez did not practice Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.

Martinez crashed into the boards at 7:05 of the third period and did not return. The top-pairing defenseman had an assist in 18:44 during Vegas’ 3-1 loss to the Blues to fall to 1-2-0 this season.

Head coach Pete DeBoer said Martinez was still getting tests done at the time practice concluded, so his status for Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers is in doubt.

“You’re always concerned, especially when a guy like that limps off because he’s as tough as they come,” DeBoer said after the game. “If he’s limping off and not coming back, you know that he’s hurt.”

Nicolas Hague took Martinez’s spot next to Alex Pietrangelo on Thursday. Hague’s usual partner, Zach Whitecloud, skated to the right of Shea Theodore as the second pairing. Brayden McNabb took rushes with Dylan Coghlan, with AHL call-up Daniil Miromanov as the seventh defenseman.

The Golden Knights host Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

“I think the greatest compliment a young player can have is when a veteran guy wants to play with you,” DeBoer said Friday. “When you talk to Petro, and if Marty is not playing, Hague’s a guy he would like an opportunity to play with. That speaks to the potential of Nic Hague when a guy like that wants to play with you.”

Miromanov was a preseason standout for Vegas with three goals, including a two-goal effort against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 1. He had two goals and two assists for the Henderson Silver Knights in their season-opening weekend against the Colorado Eagles.

“I was really confident in myself,” Miromanov said. “I was just preparing myself since June when we finished the season in Henderson. I looked at everything and we went to go see the playoff games against Colorado and games against Minnesota. ... At that point I was just preparing myself mentally and spiritually.”

Coghlan is likely to fill in for Martinez if he can’t go Friday, but DeBoer said Miromanov was “clearly the next guy.”

Janmark returns

Vegas forward Mattias Janmark returned to practice after starting the season in COVID-19 protocol.

Janmark took part as an extra on the fourth line with William Carrier, Jake Leschyshyn and Brett Howden. DeBoer did not confirm if Janmark will be an option against Edmonton.

“He’s been in COVID protocol so he literally has done nothing for 10, 11 days other than what you can do at home,” DeBoer said. “It’ll be interesting to see how he feels today. When you put guys in there’s usually an adrenaline rush the first game back. Hopefully he’s an option tomorrow.”

Krebs at the top

Peyton Krebs took rushes at first-line left wing Thursday with Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy, possibly meaning a bump in action for the Golden Knights’ top prospect.

Evgenii Dadonov, who started in the usual spot of Max Pacioretty last night, was bumped down to the third line with Nolan Patrick and Keegan Kolesar.

But DeBoer said to not put too much stock into the lines that were at practice. Janmark’s availability could shuffle things around, but Krebs played his way up with Stephenson and Roy in the third period. That trio was on the ice for two attempts and allowed three in the third period.