Updated June 24, 2021 - 5:00 pm
The Golden Knights are switching goaltenders for the third straight game for Thursday’s must-win Game 6 in Montreal.
Robin Lehner will make his second start of the team’s NHL semifinal against the Canadiens. He played Game 4 in Montreal and was great. The 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist made 27 saves in the Knights’ 2-1 overtime win. It was only his second start of the playoffs after being the team’s primary starter last postseason. He gave up seven goals on 37 shots in his first appearance May 30 against the Colorado Avalanche.
Lehner is 14-13 with a .920 save percentage and 2.16 goals-against average in his playoff career. He is 1-2 with a .882 save percentage and 2.46 goals-against average when his team is facing elimination.
He is 1-1 with the Knights. He had a 14-save shutout in Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks and gave up three goals on 26 shots in a Game 5 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars last postseason.
“He’s a great goalie,” center Tomas Nosek said. “He proved that in Game 4. Hopefully he proves that tonight, too.”
Marc-Andre Fleury will be on the bench after shouldering most of the Knights’ workload this season. The Vezina Trophy finalist is 9-7 with a .918 save percentage and 2.04 goals-against average this postseason. He is 1-3 against the Canadiens, the team he grew up cheering for, with a .904 save percentage. He misplayed a puck late in Game 3 that led to right wing Josh Anderson’s game-tying goal with 1:55 remaining in the third period.
Lehner and Fleury have supported each other throughout the season and formed arguably the NHL’s best goalie tandem. The two won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed. It was Lehner’s second Jennings Trophy.
“I’ve said it many times, I think we have the best duo in the NHL,” Nosek said. “That’s our advantage, how we can switch them any time we want.”
The Knights made one other lineup change. Nic Hague is playing on the third defensive pair in place of Nick Holden. Hague hasn’t appeared since Game 4 against Colorado. Holden lost his man, center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, on Montreal’s first goal in Game 5.
Here’s what the Knights’ lineup looks like:
Max Pacioretty-Chandler Stephenson-Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Mattias Janmark-Nicolas Roy-Alex Tuch
William Carrier-Tomas Nosek-Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez-Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb-Shea Theodore
Nic Hague-Zach Whitecloud
Here’s what the Canadiens’ lineup look like:
Artturi Lehkonen-Phillip Danault-Brendan Gallagher
Tyler Toffoli-Nick Suzuki-Cole Caufield
Paul Byron-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Josh Anderson
Joel Armia-Eric Staal-Corey Perry
Ben Chiarot-Shea Weber
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Erik Gustafsson-Jon Merrill