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NHL - US Sports: DeBoer proud of Golden Knights

After the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Thursday, coach Peter DeBoer said he was proud of his players' efforts through adversity this season.

The Golden Knights, 16/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, have suffered numerous injury problems this season, putting them in a fight for the playoffs, which they have qualified for each season since joining the NHL in 2017/18.

Eichel a new concern

Newly-acquired forward Jack Eichel is the latest worry after he blocked a shot with his hand against the Panthers and was forced to leave the game.

DeBoer is also currently without number-one netminder Robin Lehner, two of their top four defensemen Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez, and three of their top six forwards Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith.

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Vegas' win over the Panthers ended a five-game losing streak, a run which has seen them drop to fourth in the Pacific Division.

With a 33-26-4 record, they do still hold the second Wild Card spot into the playoffs from the Western Conference, sitting one point ahead of the Dallas Stars.

DeBoer was hired by the Golden Knights in January 2020 and has led them to a first and second-place finish in their respective division and a conference final and Stanley Cup semi-final.

Experience

The current season is his 15th coaching in the NHL, after previous spells with San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers.

DeBoer said to the media about his current Vegas team: "I haven't had a group face as much adversity as this group's had thrown at them. They keep showing up and giving us what they have, and I'm proud of them."

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