Robin Lehner heard the talk about his surprising Game 4 start and used it to fuel his outstanding performance on Sunday night.
After stopping 27 of 28 shots in the Vegas Golden Knights‘ 2-1 semifinal series win over the Montreal Canadiens, the outspoken netminder told reporters that he got to the Bell Centre well ahead of puck drop so he could absorb all the hot takes online.
“I got here two hours early so I could watch you guys talk s— on Twitter to motivate me,” Lehner said, per The Athletic’s Jesse Granger, after earning his first win since May 7.
Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer made the gutsy call to give Lehner the nod on Sunday for his second start of the post-season. It was also his first start since May 30, when he gave up seven goals on 37 shots in a 7-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
The decision was likely a tough one given the play of fellow Golden Knights tender Marc-Andre Fleury, who has posted a 9-6 record with a .921 save percentage and 1.97 goals-against average in 15 playoff starts, but had lost two straight outings to the Canadiens.
“(Lehner) was excellent. I knew he’d be good,” DeBoer told reporters, per Granger, of opting to start the fiery Swede.
The series flips back to Vegas on Tuesday, with the Golden Knights and Canadiens looking to break a 2-2 deadlock starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN Now.