Robin Lehner made 23 saves in helping lead his Las Vegas Golden Knights to 4-3 win over his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, in game five of the Western Conference quarterfinals last night. The outcome resulted in the Knights clinching the series four games to one, and thus ending the Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff run.
The Hawks did themselves proud, defying the postseason odds to even get this far, but ultimately they were certainly no match for last season’s runners-up. The Hawks surprised everyone with a March Madness style #12 seed over #5 seed upset in the qualifying/play-in round, but top seeded Vegas performed like they were playing with house money all series long.
After the game, Robin Lehner got emotional in the handshake line with his former Chicago teammates. Last summer, the Blackhawks signed Lehner to a one year deal as a free agent, but then sent him to the Golden Knights at the trade deadline, in a move that was surprising to say the least.
“I made some good friends there,” Lehner said during this series of his former club.
“Great group of guys in the locker room.”
Although he wasn’t there very long, he certainly made an impact in the dressing room, and he was very much well liked and well respected in Chicago.
Cool to see Robin Lehner embrace all his former Blackhawks teammates in the handshake line pic.twitter.com/UyMMpak1xO
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 19, 2020
“This was a huge win for our team, and this felt good for me to close out,” Lehner said after the game. “It’s weird playing your old team. I have a lot of friends over there.”
Chicago now heads into the offseason with a lot of holes to fill and plenty of work to do in trying to get their rebuilding project finally moving in the right direction. As for Robin Lehner and Las Vegas, they became the very first team to advance in the NHL postseason, having eliminated the re-seeded to #8 Hawks.
Las Vegas will have plenty of time off while they await whomever their opponent is, as the format dictates it will be the lowest remaining seed.
Late August Stanley Cup playoff hockey- there is nothing quite like it!
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.