The Vegas Golden Knights have known nothing but success since joining the NHL in 2017. The Golden Knights have only missed the playoffs one time in seven seasons, finally winning their first Stanley Cup in the 2022-23 season. Vegas is hoping to make another strong playoff run this year, and the team just got some encouraging injury news.

According to Paul Delos Santos on, Mark Stone was cleared to be a full participant at practice Saturday. This means that the 31-year-old forward could play for the Golden Knights in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the Dallas Stars on Monday.

Mark Stone missed the final 26 games of the NHL regular season with a lacerated spleen. He sustained the injury on February 18th against the Nashville Predators. He is a captain on the team and has 53 points (16 goals and 37 assists) in 56 games.

“We'll see how he responds with respect to his availability for Game 1,” said Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon.

34-year-old defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was also reported as a full participant at practice Saturday after having an appendectomy. Pietrangelo has 33 points (four goals and 29 assists) in 64 games.

“It took a while,” said Pietrangelo. “I wasn't too sure what the problem was. I'm glad to get that behind me just to recover. We took our time doing it the right way to make sure there was nothing to worry about. The last thing you want to do is go into a playoff game with that in the back of your mind.”

The Golden Knights will have to wait and see if both players can suit up on Monday or if they will need extra time to get back to full strength.

Previewing Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars NHL playoff series

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild during the third period at T-Mobile Arena.
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It's always fun to see two powerhouse teams meet in the first round of the playoffs. Especially when there's bad blood from last season.

The Vegas Golden Knights beat Dallas in six games during last year's Western Conference finals before winning the Stanley Cup. This time, Dallas has a good shot at revenge.

According to The Athletic, the Vegas Golden Knights are heavy underdogs against the Dallas Stars. The Golden Knights only have a 38% chance to win the series, with their best chance (14%) coming in a six-game series.

Offense and goal tending are huge strengths for Dallas, and massive advantages over the Golden Knights. In particular, Dallas dominates Vegas in terms of expected power play goals and totals shots allowed on defense.

One major question for this matchup is just how healthy are the Golden Knights? Stone and Pietrangelo returning to practice is good news, but it is no guarantee that either player will be 100% healthy right away. Vegas may need to survive a game or two while these veterans get up to full strength.

Whichever team makes it out of this series alive has a serious shot of winning the Stanley Cup. The stakes usually aren't that high in the first round, but it certainly feels fair for this particular matchup.

The Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars begin their series on Monday at 9:30PM EST in Dallas.