Vegas Golden Knights’ Shea Theodore (27) is checked by Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Toffoli (73) during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Vegas Golden Knights’ Shea Theodore (27) is checked by Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Toffoli (73) during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Lehner makes 32 saves, Vegas blanks Vancouver 3-0 in NHL playoff clash

Golden Knights lead Canucks 2-1 in best-of-seven series

Goaltender Robin Lehner made 32 saves for the shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 in NHL playoff action Saturday in Edmonton.

The win gives the Golden Knights a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven second-round series, with Game 4 set, on a short turnaround, for Sunday night.

It was Lehner’s second playoff shutout of his career, and the second of the series. He blanked Vancouver 5-0 in the series opener. He is 7-2 in the return-to-play tournament.

Alex Tuch, with his seventh goal of the post-season, Mark Stone, and Zack Whitecloud scored for Vegas.

Jacob Markstrom, in his 13th post-season start, stopped 31 of 34 for Vancouver.

Lehner, acquired at the trade deadline in a three-team deal including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks, was the difference early.

Vancouver came out flying in the first period, outshooting Vegas 16-10 and enjoying a 78-second 5-on-3 power play. Lehner turned aside a wealth of high-quality scoring chances: point-blank one-timers, blasts off the transition, redirects, and loose pucks bouncing through the blue paint.

Tuch scored first at 4:05 of the first period. Racing in full flight through the neutral zone, he split the defence, settled down a bouncing stretch pass from Nicolas Roy and delivered a rocket shot past Markstrom into the top corner.

Just 83 seconds later, it was 2-0 when Whitecloud pounced on a loose puck at the right face-off circle, fired it through traffic and in.

Early in the third, Stone roofed a fluttering puck from the faceoff circle on the power play for a 3-0 advantage. It was his second goal of the series and sixth of the playoffs.

READ MORE: NHL playoffs return after 2-day break for protests

The teams had not played since Tuesday. The NHL did not play its scheduled games Thursday or Friday after players in the Edmonton and Toronto playoff sites made it clear they wanted to make a statement to highlight the issues of social injustice, systemic racism and police brutality.

The Golden Knights can gain a 3-1 stranglehold on the series with a win Sunday.

For Vancouver, the concern will be Markstrom and puck fatigue. The 30-year-old Swede is expected to start Sunday, which will be his 14th game in 29 days and his third back-to-back contest. He has been the backbone of the Canucks’ playoff success but has regularly been facing more than 30 shots a night in the post-season.

His backup is Thatcher Demko. Demko has started just 34 games over his first three seasons and has not played in the playoffs except for some mop-up time in the third period in the 5-0 loss.

Vegas has experienced veteran Marc-Andre Fleury in reserve. Fleury has spelled off Lehner once in the round-robin series and again for one game in the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer has said the plan is to play both.

All games are being played in front of empty seats at Rogers Place. The players are kept in isolation between contests to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants

Tree cutting to start in Beban Park’s Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police hope to find the owners of two canoes found at Descanso Bay on Gabriola Island. (Photo submitted)
RCMP seek owners of canoes found on Gabriola Island that possibly came from Nanaimo

Two older canoes, found by police at Descanso Bay, could have washed ashore with recent storms

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Beef to my neighbour who likes to decorate his yard with garbage. In his front yard he has a toilet bowl.
Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 13

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has expressed his frustration with harassment of people who have made racist comments online about Cowichan Tribes in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak in the First Nation. (Citizen file)
Island mayor calls for de-escalation as social media gets uglier in racism fight

“Racism is wrong. But so is this kind of reaction”:

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said a lack of experienced crew members and the inability to detect navigational errors is what led to a Sooke search and rescue boat running aground in February 2019. (Twitter / @VicJRCC_CCCOS)
TSB: Sooke search and rescue boat crash caused by ‘misinterpretation of navigational information’

Crew members were lacking experience and unable to detect navigational errors

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Most Read