- Vegas Golden Knights won Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Stars, 3-0.
- All three goals occurred in the second period.
- Robin Lehner posted a shutout, his fourth in the last seven games.
- The series is tied at 1-1 now with the next game taking place in
Vegas Bounces Back After Pale Game 1
Some of the Golden Knights’ fans were a bit worried after the first game of the series. That contest was pretty odd, with the only goal taking place early on, and without any excitement until the end. What was frustrating for the No.1 seed in the West was their offensive game, which was below any decent level of play.
However, this Tuesday, we saw a completely different Vegas, the one that knocks out the opponents in no time.
All three goals took place in less than 10 minutes of the second frame, with the Stars’ players unaware of what hit them.
“We didn’t play our game in Game 1,” Peter DeBoer, Golden Knights’ head coach, explained following the event. “Tonight, we got our game back, and once we got that first goal, I thought we looked like we normally do, which is making plays and sticking pucks in the net.”
That first score came 4:53 into the middle period. Max Pacioretty assisted Paul Stastny, who easily beat Anton Khudobin. William Karlsson scored at 8:24 of the same, and that goal came during a powerplay. Previously Corey Perry received a minor penalty.
Tomas Nosek scored the third goal for Vegas at 14:32, with Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy helping him beat Khudobin. The Stars’ goalie would leave the ice following this period, due to Rick Bownes’s decision. Dallas’s head coach thought it would be best for the Russian to sit out and erase this episode from his memory.
“We had a better third period. Anton was the only reason it was 3-0. Without Anton, that’s 6-0 after the second period,” he said.
In between the second and third goals, Shea Theodore scored one more, but Bowness challenged the call for goalie interference, which turned out to be right. Still, that didn’t change anything on the ice, as Vegas continued to punish the rivals.
Lehner Posts Another Shutout
The Golden Knights had 19 shots in the second sequence, compared to just seven by the Stars. Now, Dallas did play much better in the final period, when they had the initiative, and threatened frequently. Yet, Robin Lehner rebuffed all their pushes to make this contest more interesting.
The 29-year old goalie had 27 saves, 12 of them in the last 20 minutes. This was his second shutout as a starter, and fourth in the previous seven matches. At the moment, he leads the way with shutouts in the playoffs.
“It was good. I thought we played a very good game,” Lehner said. “Guys were ready from the start. We outcompeted them today and played a heck of a game, so it made it a little easier for me.”
If he continues to perform at this level, we are bound to see at least one more zero in front of the opponents’ name. So far, many believe that, in fact, he is the essential piece in DeBoer’s crew.