The Golden Knights’ fourth line is finally chipping in offensively.
After going 25 games without a goal, the unit known as the Meat Grinders found the back of the net in three straight games entering Monday’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
“I like where those guys’ games are trending,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “I think we went a long stretch early in the season without the type of contributions we need from those guys. It’s a good time of year for them to start getting on the scoresheet, because we need the help.”
Tomas Nosek had the Knights’ goal in Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Los Angeles when his initial shot was stopped and the rebound bounced in off his body.
William Carrier notched his first goal of the season Friday when he deflected a shot from defenseman Nic Hague for an insurance goal in a 4-2 victory over the Kings. Ryan Reaves scored Wednesday against San Jose for his first goal since March 3, 2020.
Before that, none of the Knights’ fourth-line forwards had scored since Nosek on opening night against Anaheim.
The Knights are without leading goal scorer Max Pacioretty, and DeBoer emphasized the importance of finding secondary scoring.
“With injuries and schedule and some of the things you’re dealing with, your depth and the ability of your depth to contribute is going to be real important here going forward,” DeBoer said.
Use your head
Those who pay close attention to the end of warmups will notice a ritual that takes place between Shea Theodore and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Before the defenseman exits the ice, he flips a final puck high in the air for Fleury to head like a soccer player. Theodore said he isn’t sure when the superstition started, but the tandem is getting pretty good at their pregame routine.
“I think our goalie coach (Mike Rosati), he noticed how we had 15 or 16 in a row of perfect flips to finish warmups,” Theodore said. “Just having a little bit of fun before the game starts.”
Forward Keegan Kolesar is quickly gaining a reputation as someone not to mess with. He dropped Kings forward Austin Wagner with a body shot during their second-period fight Sunday.
Kolesar bowled over Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson in front of the Los Angeles bench moments earlier, and Wagner issued the challenge.
Kolesar was involved in a similar situation March 13 in St. Louis when he made Blues rookie Dakota Joshua answer the bell after decking Ryan Reaves. He felt obligated to follow the unwritten code against Wagner, who also fought Kolesar during a rookie game in 2018.
“The guy, Joshua, was able to to fight me,” Kolesar said, “so I figured why not go back at it with Wagner.”
The NHL updated the start times for two Knights games next month.
The April 1 matchup against Minnesota will begin at 7:30 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena and will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain West.
The April 14 game at Los Angeles will begin at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network after originally being scheduled for 5 p.m.