Max Pacioretty deemed “unfit to play,” will sit Game 2 against Blackhawks

After missing all of round robin with a “minor issue,” Pacioretty will sit after one game back.

Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty has been ruled “unfit to play” and will be a late scratch in Game 2 of their first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chandler Stephenson will replace Pacioretty on the top-line left wing spot, skating with William Karlsson and Mark Stone.

Pacioretty missed Vegas’ three round-robin games, all wins, when the NHL returned to play in hub cities Toronto and Edmonton. Vegas’ victories secured the top seed in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights’ leading scorer during the regular season (66 points; 32 goals, 34 assists) returned for Game 1, a 4-1 victory for the Golden Knights on Tuesday, playing 18:08 and registering four shots on goal and was a minus-1.

Pacioretty also missed the final week of training camp 2.0 with what coach Peter DeBoer called a “minor issue.” Per the NHL’s Return to Play Plan, teams are not permitted to disclose a player’s injury or illness situation.

Vegas will revert back to the lineup it used during the round-robin. Nick Cousins will stay on the third line with Nicolas Roy centering. Tomas Nosek draws back into the lineup as fourth-line center.

Robin Lehner will start in net.