Alex Pietrangelo is out for "the foreseeable future" for the Vegas Golden Knights because of an upper-body injury, coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday.
The defenseman returned to Las Vegas for further evaluation after he was injured blocking a shot in the third period of a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Pietrangelo, who appeared to favor his left hand, missed a 2-0 loss and a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday and Wendesday.
"Obviously not a great sign that he returned home for evaluation," DeBoer said. "I'm not concerned it's long, long-term, but he's out for the foreseeable future."
The Golden Knights have two games remaining on a six-game road trip, at the St. Louis Blues on Friday and Saturday.
Pietrangelo signed a seven-year, $61.6 million contract ($8.8 million average annual value) with Vegas on Oct. 12. He scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 18 games this season and led the Golden Knights in average ice time per game (25:27) playing on the top defense pair. Pietrangelo missed three games in February after he was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.
Pietrangelo and defenseman Brayden McNabb were paired together to begin the season. McNabb played Wednesday after being out since Jan. 26 because of a lower-body injury.
"When a guy's out, especially a guy like [Pietrangelo] or [McNabb], it's a big hole in our lineup," defenseman Nicolas Hague said. "Those are two key players. I think, at the end of the day, it's a group effort. Everyone steps up and tries to fill that void, and I think overall we've done a good job."
The Golden Knights (16-6-1) are first in the eight-team Honda West Division. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"It's the reality of the NHL in a normal year, particularly in a condensed schedule like this year," DeBoer said. "You look around and everyone's got pieces moving in and out."