Making his sixth consecutive start, Lehner recorded his first shutout since April 16 and the 17th of his NHL career. The Capitals were shut out for the first time this season in their 43rd game.
Lehner was at his best during a 5-on-3 penalty kill that lasted 1:57 early in the second period. He turned aside three Washington shots, including a blast from Alex Ovechkin, who was looking for his 30th goal of the season.
In his first season as the team’s unquestioned No. 1 goaltender, the 30-year-old Swede also stopped Lars Eller on a short-handed 2-on-1 rush late in the second and got in front of a shot from Conor Sheary with five minutes left in the third. Lehner and the penalty kill were a perfect 5 of 5 on an undisciplined night for Vegas.
Michael Amadio scored the Golden Knights’ only goal, and they won a second consecutive game after losing their previous three. Defenseman Nicolas Hague, playing his first game since Dec. 28 after missing the past eight with a wrist injury, did the dirty work to create the scoring chance that Amadio finished with a rebound goal in tight.
Without top wingers Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty and still awaiting trade pickup Jack Eichel’s season debut following an artificial disk replacement operation, they got a difficult Eastern Conference road trip off to a positive start before visiting Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay this week.
The Golden Knights did lose forward Nicolas Roy late in the third when he took a puck off his left ankle while standing in front on a power play.
The Capitals lost for the seventh time in their past 10 games. Vitek Vanecek allowed only Amadio’s goal on 29 shots, and the power play was not able to cash in on several opportunities.
NOTES: Vegas forward Reilly Smith joined Stone in COVID-19 protocol. Jonas Rondbjerg was recalled to take Smith’s spot in the lineup. … Washington winger T.J. Oshie returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Defensemen John Carlson (four games for COVID-19 protocol) and Dmitry Orlov (two-game suspension) were also back for the Capitals. … The game was delayed briefly 6:05 into the second period when a woman in the stands was hit in the right side of the head with a puck that was shot over the glass by Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb. … 2018 Stanley Cup winner Chandler Stephenson got a standing ovation in his first game in Washington since a trade to Vegas in 2019.
Golden Knights: Visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Capitals: Host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
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