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Round 2

Golden Knights pondering lineup changes for Game 5 against San Jose

Lindberg, Carpenter, Sbisa among those who could join Vegas as Gallant mulls roster shakeup

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights could make changes to their lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round against the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

"Quite possible," coach Gerard Gallant said, smiling. "You watched the morning skate. Watch the warmup tonight and you'll find out. I'm not telling you nothing."

Oscar Lindberg practiced at left wing on the third line and Ryan Carpenter at left wing on the fourth line at the morning skate. Forwards Tomas Tatar and Tomas Nosek stayed out afterward with the extras, indicating they could be scratched.


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Defenseman Luca Sbisa did not practice among the top three pairs but did not stay out afterward with the extras.

Gallant said not everyone showed up in a 4-0 loss in Game 4 that tied the best-of-7 series 2-2. The forecheck was too slow.

"When we're playing good, we're having a good forecheck," Gallant said. "I thought our forecheck was real late last game. Your [first forward] has to be going quick, and your [second forward] and [third forward] have got to be ready to read and go quick too. If you give teams time to execute their defensive plays, they're going to do them."

Lindberg has not played since the regular-season finale April 7. He had 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 63 games in the regular season and has four points (three goals, one assist) in 14 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Carpenter, claimed off waivers from San Jose on Dec. 13, has been scratched the past two games. He has one assist in six playoff games after he had 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 52 games in the regular season.

Sbisa has not played since Feb. 27 because of an upper-body injury, but Gallant said he's been ready for at least a week. He had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 30 games in the regular season and has four points (one goal, three assists) in 20 playoff games.

"I'm extremely excited," Sbisa said. "I'm not sure if I'm in yet. [Gallant] will tell us tonight. If I get the call, I'm ready. I've been waiting for this for too long."

Asked if he was worried about jumping into the speed of the playoffs, Sbisa said, "I'm not sure if I worry about it, but I'm just aware it's going to be really fast. Coming back from injury in the regular season is one thing, and then coming back from two-plus months into Game 5 of round two is going to be different."

Gallant said he was unconcerned about making too many changes in the middle of a series.

"You do what you have to do," he said. "You put your best lineup in that you think you're going to win with that evening. And we've done it all year. Guys come in and take different spots and play in different roles."



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