Lehner starts for Golden Knights in Game 1 against the Avalanche
Robin lehner allowed seven goals on 37 shots in his 2021 Stanley Cup playoff debut for the Vegas Golden Knights, a 7-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup second round at the Ball Arena in Denver on Sunday.
Marc-André Fleury started every game for Vegas against the Minnesota Wild in the best-of-7 first round, with a 1.71 goals against average, .931 save percentage and shutout. The Golden Knights advanced with a 6-2 win in Game 7 on Friday.
“The decision to go with Robin was that ‘Flower’ had just played seven games in 14 days and an emotional seventh game,” said Vegas coach Peter DeBoer. “It was a perfect opportunity in our minds to use our other starter, and that’s been a strength of our whole year, and to make sure Robin played a game and stayed sharp because we know that we’re going to need him. lots of reasons for this.
“I wouldn’t change the decision. Tonight’s game wasn’t about Robin lehner, and obviously we didn’t play well enough in front of him. “
Lehner hadn’t played since May 10, when he allowed two goals on 21 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Avalanche. He was 13-4-2 with a GAA of 2.29, a save percentage of .913 and a shutout in 19 starts this season, his first after signing a five-year, $ 25 million contract. as a free agent on October 3. He combined with Fleury to win the William M. Jennings Trophy as goaltenders who played for the team allowing the fewest NHL goals in the regular season (124).
[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Avalanche series coverage]
The second game of the best-of-7 series is Wednesday in Colorado.
Lehner received most of the playing time in the 2020 Golden Knights’ playoffs, going 9-7 with a 1.99 GAA, .917 save percentage and four shutouts to help them out. qualify for the Western Conference final.
Fleury, who has won the Stanley Cup three times with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009, 2016. 2017), finished 3-1 with a GAA of 2.27 and save percentage of 0.910 in the 2020 playoffs.
NHL.com columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika contributed to this report