Robin Lehner earned his entire paycheck for this game in the first period.
After giving up a goal just one minute into the game, Lehner shut the door the rest of the way. He turned aside the next 12 shots he saw in the first period, and then faced just 12 shots in the second and third periods combined. Meanwhile the Vegas Golden Knights finally got the offense rolling, scoring four unanswered goals for a 4-1 win.
Lehner made 24 saves to earn the win, improving his record to 6-1-1 on the season. Oscar Dansk backed up as Marc-Andre Fleury earned the night off.
“Thankfully he was good early when we weren’t in the first 10 or 12 minutes of the game,” said head coach Pete DeBoer. “I thought he settled in… as the game went on and looked really solid, couple big saves there in the third. Even though they didn’t get a lot of shots he made some timely saves.”
While the Golden Knights didn’t have the quick start we’ve all been hoping for right along this season, you can’t underestimate the importance of the goaltending to keep the team in the game just like Lehner did tonight. It’s so important for the VGK that Lehner continues to have solid starts down the stretch to give Fleury a rest and sharpen his own game to continue to press for the starting role. Healthy competition pushes both netminders to be the best they can.
Keep in mind it’s also important for Robin Lehner mentally to bounce back from the early goal and have a solid game. Coming back from his extended time on IR with a concussion it’s important for him to feel comfortable and back on center.
This start will go a long way towards getting him back there quickly.