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Golden Knights Forced to Recall Goalie; Critical Road Trip Looms



Vegas Golden Knights, Jiri Patera

Goalie Adin Hill left the Vegas Golden Knights’ 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday after a third period save. The Golden Knights are about to embark upon a crucial four-game road trip but will need additional support.

The team has recalled goalie Jiri Patera from the Henderson Silver Knights. To make salary cap space, the Golden Knights moved newly acquired Tomas Hertl to long-term injured reserve.

The Golden Knights have a four-point lead on the St. Louis Blues with one game in hand for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. They have 12 games remaining, and their four-game trip will take them directly to their playoff rivals. The Golden Knights face the Blues Monday evening, finishing a back-to-back against the scorching hot Nashville Predators, whom the Golden Knights trail by five points for the first wild card.

The Golden Knights will also face the Minnesota Wild, who are desperately trying to stay in the playoff race, and the Winnipeg Jets, who have grand plans to unseat the Golden Knights as Stanley Cup champions. The Wild and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury trail the Golden Knights by six points with one more game played.

Patera, 25, played five NHL games earlier this season, with one win and three losses, allowing 16 goals. He posted a .901 save percentage. He also played two NHL games last season with a .919 save percentage.

The goalie from Czechia has played 24 games for the Silver Knights this season, posting only a .902 save percentage.

The Golden Knights have won three of their last four games and outplayed the Tampa Bay Lightning in their only loss. They also trail the LA Kings by two points for third place. The Kings have won three in a row to stay ahead of the Golden Knights.

A difficult playoff matchup awaits both third-place and the wild card. Third place will face the Edmonton Oilers in Round One, while the wild card will face either the Vancouver Canucks or Colorado Avalanche.

Of course, Colorado was the 2022 Stanley Cup champion and flexed their offensive explosiveness by erasing a four-goal deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. The Vancouver Canucks have not been as good in the second half of the season under new coach Rick Tocchet but are still in the top spot in the Western Conference, atop the Pacific Division.

Hill, 27, who began last season as a depth goalie in the Golden Knights organization, became the starter after Laurent Brossoit struggled early in the playoffs. This season, he’s posted a .914 save percentage with an 18-10-2 record.