DeBoer: Pacioretty's return 'changed everything' for Golden Knights

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer gushed about Max Pacioretty's impact when asked about his star forward, who scored the game-winner in Game 7 to help eliminate the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.

"Just writing his name on the board for the lineup, I think, gave the group a lift," DeBoer said after his team's 6-2 win, according to The Athletic's Jesse Granger. "It changed everything, about our confidence ... to score."

Pacioretty gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead with this goal midway through the second period.

The 32-year-old, who played 16:28, didn't appear to be fully healed during the game.

However, he claimed to be fine afterward.

"I turned the corner a couple days ago," Pacioretty said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's David Schoen. "A lot of people behind the scenes were helping me around the clock. ... That was a big reason why I was able to play (Friday night)."

The veteran winger suited up for the first-round matchup's decisive contest after missing the first six games of the series and the final six of the regular season with an undisclosed injury.

Pacioretty led the Golden Knights with 24 goals prior to the playoffs in 2021, despite being limited to 48 contests.

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DeBoer: Pacioretty's return 'changed everything' for Golden Knights
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