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Fleury does not participate at Golden Knights training camp

Goalie sits out third day, no timetable given for return, DeBoer says

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Marc-Andre Fleury did not participate with the Vegas Golden Knights for a third straight day at training camp on Wednesday.

"He's doing fine. We've got a long runway before we start," Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday. "The plan is he will be on the ice before the weekend."

The goalie was given a maintenance day Monday after being an active participant during voluntary workouts the prior five weeks. No update was given for his absence Tuesday or Wednesday.

DeBoer said Monday that it "was nothing to do with a positive [COVID-19] test or anything like that."

Fleury was 27-16-5 with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage this season, his worst statistics in three seasons with the Golden Knights. Robin Lehner and Oscar Dansk are the other Vegas goalies.

"We have two starting goalies (Fleury and Lehner) and we're going to play them both," DeBoer said Tuesday.

Lehner, acquired in a three-team trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 24, was 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .940 save percentage with Vegas. Dansk was 3-1-0 in five games with the Golden Knights during the past three seasons.

"I think a very good surprise to me is how committed this team is," Lehner said Wednesday. "Everyone's been here since Day One of Phase 2, and I've been on the ice since Day One. I've been on the ice for five weeks, this is my sixth week, and the whole team has been here working really hard and trying to get prepared. I think this team knows how this is a good opportunity for this team, a really strong chance of going far. Everyone's been going hard."

The Golden Knights (39-24-8, .606 points percentage) will play in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in the Western Conference against the St. Louis Blues (42-19-10, .662), Colorado Avalanche (42-20-8, .657) and Dallas Stars (37-24-8, .594) to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Western tournament, which includes four best-of-5 series, will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton beginning Aug. 1.

"To get out there with everyone was nice," Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland said after the first practice Monday. "Due to timing and everything, you haven't seen half the team. It's nice to get some gamelike situations and see some familiar faces."

Forward prospect Peyton Krebs, the No. 17 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, joined Tuesday after completing his quarantine.

"My first NHL training camp where I get to skate," Krebs said. "It was fun to get out there with the guys. Last year I was on the sidelines. The goal is to make the NHL. I'm here to learn a lot and do what I can to work hard and have fun."

Forwards Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch participated. Stone (lower body) missed the final six games before the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Tuch (lower body) missed the final 12 games, and Pacioretty (lower body) was week to week after the final regular-season game March 9. 

"It's nice. You just want to stay this way as much as possible, and you know that's not realistic," DeBoer said. "I think every coach is having the same conversations as we are: How do you get to that first game of the playoffs healthy and energized, with your game in a good place, but healthy?

"When this squad is healthy, it's a deep lineup at every position."

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