General Manager Kelly McCrimmon says the Vegas Golden Knights expect Robin Lehner to return from injury shortly to boost their bid for a Stanley Cup playoff place.
The Golden Knights, 25/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, have been without 30-year-old Lehner since 8th March after he suffered a lower-body injury.
Vegas (36-28-4) currently sit one point behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild card to qualify for the playoffs from the Western Conference.
Dallas have three games in hand, and with Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks also in the race, the Golden Knights face a fight to not miss out on the post-season for the first time since they entered the NHL in 2017/18.
25-year-old Logan Thompson has in the main held the net for Vegas in the absence of Lehner, playing eight of the ten that he has missed recording four wins.
In 38 games before his injury, Lehner registered 21 victories, a .909 save-percentage and 2.77 goals-against-average (GAA).
The Swede is in his third season with Vegas and 13th in the NHL. In 358 regular-season games (339 starts) he has recorded 150 wins, a .917 save-percentage and 2.70 GAA.
In post-season play, Lehner has appeared 29 times (27 starts) with 14 wins, a .919 save-percentage and 2.19 GAA.
McCrimmon said to the media: "Lehner, I think, is real close. He was on the ice today. He was on the ice last week. I would think by week's end he'd be able to play."
The Golden Knights face the NHL's newest expansion team the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday and Friday, with hope Lehner will appear in at least one of the fixtures.