Golden Knights’ Robin Lehner to start Game 1 vs. Blackhawks


Colorado Avalanche's Mikko Rantanen (96) tries to get the puck past Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) during third period NHL Stanley Cup qualifying round game action in Edmonton, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. (Jason Franson / CP)

Robin Lehner will be in net Tuesday when the Vegas Golden Knights face off against his former club, the Chicago Blackhawks, in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Coach Peter DeBoer said he gave the 2019 Jennings Trophy winner the nod over Marc-Andre Fleury based on Lehner’s play since his arrival in a trade-deadline deal from Chicago.

“The best way I can explain it, how I came to the decision, it wasn’t what Flower didn’t do. It’s what Robin has done since he got here,” DeBoer said per’s Tracey Myers.

The 29-year-old — who signed a one-year, $5-million contract with the Blackhawks last summer — put up a .903 save percentage, 2.89 goals-against average and two wins in two round-robin starts for the Golden Knights.

He also recorded .940 SVV% and 1.67 GAA in three winning starts for Vegas before the NHL hit pause on its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He finished the 2019-20 season with a .918 SVV% and 3.01 GAA.

Lehner said Saturday it will be “fun” facing his old Chicago teammates.

“They’re a good hockey team and I have lot of respect for them, the whole organization,” he told reporters.

Fleury, 35, gave up four goals in 17 shots in his lone round-robin start, an Aug. 6 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner struggled in 2019-20, posting his worst season SVV%-wise since 2009-10 (.905) and a 2.77 GAA for the Pacific Division-winning Golden Knights.

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