The Vegas Golden Knights opened a four-game road trip with a 1-0 shutout victory against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Robin Lehner stopped all 34 shots faced, and backstopped the Golden Knights to their first shutout of the 2021-22 season. He also did so after taking a blistering shot to the mask, and it resulted in the Golden Knights’ netminder making a mask change.
Robin Lehner had to change masks after Alex Ovechkin's shot broke it— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) January 25, 2022
"It was a really hard shot to take in the head. He broke my cage. It was a little scary. You felt the cage kind of bent in to the cheekbone a little bit. I was lucky it wasn't a little bit harder."
Prior to the game, the Golden Knights announced that Reilly Smith had entered Covid-19 protocol. Nic Hague also made his return to the lineup, and skated 17:54 in his first game back.
The Golden Knights struggled to gain entry to the zone in the early stages of the first period and stayed in the game with some timely saves from Lehner. The Capitals also had their struggles to enter the offensive zone and neither team was able to generate anything dangerous.
The Golden Knights got an early power play opportunity when Nolan Patrick was tripped by Michael Kempny. Vegas was able to set up on the power play but were unable to pot one passed goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
The Capitals were given a power-play opportunity of their own shortly after when Nic Roy, the Golden Knights’ leader in penalty minutes, was whistled for holding around the 13-minute mark. The Golden Knights penalty kill was very solid and killed off the man-advantage.
Early in the second period, the Golden Knights got on the board for the only goal scored during the game as Michael Amadio was in the right place at the right time, cleaning up a Brett Howden point shot rebound in the blue paint.
it's a me, amadiooooo!!!! pic.twitter.com/Byvb9zqSK3— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 25, 2022
The Golden Knights penalty kill was once again put to a major test around the midway point of the period after Evgenii Dadonov was whistled for interference, and only three seconds into the kill Brayden McNabb cleared the puck over the glass putting the Capitals on a 5-on-3 advantage. Vegas ultimately was able to kill the two-man advantage with big saves from Lehner and some puck luck down low.
The teams traded power plays throughout the back half of the second period, but neither were able to cash in on the opportunities. The Capitals got another power play opportunity with 13 seconds left in the second period after Nolan Patrick was whistled for tripping.
The Golden Knights killed the carryover time at the start of the third before Keegan Kolesar was whistled for tripping moments later. Vegas’ penalty kill came up big once again as the Capitals led 9-0 in shots at the midpoint of the period.
The Golden Knights got a power play opportunity with just under eight minutes in regulation, but the Capitals killed their fourth man-advantage of the night. Lehner answered the call with a beauty of a kick save on Connor Sheary with just over four minutes in regulation.
The Capitals pulled Vanecek for the extra skater with 1:37 left in regulation and again with just over 30 seconds left in regulation. The Golden Knights kept the Capitals out of the offensive zone and the horn sounded on Lehner’s first shutout of the season.
Vegas will continue its road trip tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes.