Golden Knights forced to only dress 15 skaters vs. Avalanche

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer, back centre, speaks with his players during the second period of a game against the Los Angeles Kings. (John Locher/AP)

The Vegas Golden Knights have a chance to clinch the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history Monday night, but they will attempt to do so while shorthanded.

Due to injuries and salary cap constraints, the Golden Knights will only have 15 skaters on the ice when they host the Colorado Avalanche. It will be the first time since 2010 that a team will be short three skaters.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon met with the media before the game, saying injuries to forward Peyton Krebs and defenceman Alec Martinez left the team shorthanded. Max Pacioretty, Tomas Nosek and Ryan Reaves will also be unavailable due to previous injuries.

The team will dress five defencemen, 10 forwards and two goaltenders.

The Golden Knights have been under tight cap constraints all season after signing Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year, $61.6 million contract in free agency. According to CapFriendly.com, the Golden Knights have just over $34,000 in cap space entering play Monday.

The Golden Knights close the season Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks, after which the salary cap will be lifted for the playoffs and the team can recall players from the AHL to fill in for injuries.

“When we get to Thursday, there is no salary cap. That will be a welcome change for our coaches and our group to have access to the entire lineup,” McCrimmon said. “I really like the 17 players that are playing tonight. Do I wish it was 20 players? Of course. Success isn’t generally a straight line, it doesn’t come without hardships and challenges.”

You can watch the Golden Knights play the Avalanche on Sportsnet. Puck drop is at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.

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