Golden Knights injuries mounting, place Robin Lehner, and Reilly Smith on IR

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The Vegas Golden Knights are finding themselves in quite a conundrum heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, now just six days away.

On Monday, they placed goalie Robin Lehner and forward Reilly Smith on injured reserve, adding more bad news for a team that has dropped into fourth place in the Pacific Division while on a four-game losing streak.

These injuries now cloud what was an already murky trade deadline for the Golden Knights. They obviously were considered buyers coming in and they made the biggest trade of the season by acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres.

The team has LTIR room to play with, and if the injury to Lehner is serious enough it should put their focus on a goaltender.

Robin Lehner and Reilly Smith on IR

golden knights injury
Mar 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner celebrates the Knights 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings with Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) and Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (23) at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Lehner, 30, left the team and returned to Las Vegas after Tuesday’s 2-1 road loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. He had 19 saves in the defeat, which was the first loss in the current four-game slide.

Lehner is 21-15-1 this season with a .909 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average. The veteran of 12 seasons has a career .917 save percentage and a 2.70 goals-against average over 358 career games (339 starts). He is reportedly on crutches.

The Golden Knights were interested in Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers, but could turn their sights on a reunion with Marc-Andre Fleury if Lehner lands on LTIR.

Smith, 30, also was injured in Tuesday’s game and is not with the team as it gets set to face the Winnipeg Jets on the road Tuesday following Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The specifics of his injury have not been disclosed.

Smith has 38 points and 16 goals in 56 games this season. The veteran of 11 seasons, who is in his fifth season with the Golden Knights, has 174 career goals and 417 points in 686 games. He is a pending UFA that Vegas may have considered flipping for future assets even with Mark Stone on LTIR. His trade status is now uncertain.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report