Robin Lehner’s outstanding effort for the Blackhawks not enough for the win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Goalie Robin Lehner #40 of the Chicago Blackhawks stops the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime at the United Center on October 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – It was almost a full night of positive firsts for the Blackhawks during this still young 2018-2019 season. In the end, however, there ended up a few negative firsts as well.

That’s a shame for Robin Lehner, who came so close to getting his first shutout of his Blackhawks, but it escaped him like the win did for his team

After not allowing a goal for over 58 minutes on Tuesday night at the United Center, the goalie surrendered one to the Vegas Golden Knights in the waning moments of the game. Since Marc-Andre Fleury matched him by allowing just one goal, there would be no regulation win, and for the first time this year the Blackhawks went to a shootout.

Despite Lehner’s efforts, the Blackhawks would have to settle with a point as the Golden Knights beat the Blackhawks 2-1 in the shootout to claim a win by the same score.

Lehner ended up with 33 saves in both regulation and overtime in what was the best of his three starts so far with the team. It looked as if his first shutout would come on the same night that rookie center Kirby Dach got his first professional goal when a pass to him knocked off his leg and past Fleury for the first period score.

But with an extra attacker in the final two minutes, Vegas finally got one past Lehner as Nick Holden smacked a one-timer past the goalie with 1:34 left to tie the game at one. Lehner held strong in the overtime but so did Fleury, and it was there that the Blackhawks were bested as Jonathan Marchessault and Shea Theodore got scores to give the Golden Knights a victory.

Lehner deserved better for his effort in what would have been his first shutout with his new team, but that will have to wait.

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