Golden Knights edge Islanders 4-3 in SO in Lehner’s return

Dec 19, 2021, 12:21 AM | Updated: 3:27 pm
Vegas Golden Knights' Zach Whitecloud (2), Max Pacioretty (67), Nicolas Roy (10) and Brayden McNabb...

Vegas Golden Knights' Zach Whitecloud (2), Max Pacioretty (67), Nicolas Roy (10) and Brayden McNabb (3) celebrate with goalie Robin Lehner (90) during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)

(AP Photo/John Munson)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shea Theodore scored twice and added another in the shootout, former Islander Robin Lehner made 29 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat New York 4-3 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.

Theodore scored on the Golden Knights’ first shootout attempt after his second goal of the game tied it with 48 seconds remaining in regulation. Nicholas Roy also scored for Vegas in the shootout as the Golden Knights won for the eighth time in nine games.

“It was fun game to play today. It was nice to get the win,” said Lehner, who helped the Islanders reach the playoffs in 2018-19, his lone season with the team. “It was a hard-fought game. It was fun to win in the shootout.”

An emotional Lehner, whose public acknowledgement of his struggles with depression and mental illness endeared him to the Islanders fan base, said his return and subsequent victory on Sunday extended well beyond hockey.

“There are so many factors to Long Island the people here,” he said. “They gave me back the love for hockey and me and my family the love for life again. It was emotional seeing everyone.”

Theodore scored his second goal of the game with Lehner pulled for an extra skater. He shot from the top of the high slot just inside the blueline. Jonathan Marchessault also scored in regulation for Vegas.

“We stuck with it, we’re a resilient team,´´ Marchessault said. “We won’t quit in any game. We’re trying to stay in the fight always.”

The tying goal came after Jean-Gabriel Pageau put the Islanders ahead 3-2 with 2:20 left in the third. Kieffer Bellows and Brock Nelson also scored for New York, and Ilya Sorokin made 31 saves.

“I thought in the third period we were really good. We needed a clear or a block right at the end and we didn’t get it,´´ Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

The Golden Knights completed a three-game sweep of New York-area teams, having defeated the Devils on Thursday and the Rangers on Friday. Vegas also beat Boston to start the trip.

“I don’t think anyone ever predicts you can sweep a four-game road trip,´´ Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. “Our game is starting to trend in a good direction.”

Witnessing the outpouring for Lehner at UBS Arena impressed Marchessault.

“I couldn’t believe it how he’s so appreciated here,” Marchessault said. “I was really happy to be part of that and to see that.”

During a short video tribute early in the first period, Lehner pointed to a tattoo in the shape of Long Island on his neck and gave the cheering crowd a thumbs up while standing near the Golden Knights bench.

“It’s been a long time. I’ve been anxious to get back,” he said. “I wanted to show my appreciation and give back a little bit of what they gave to me.”

Lehner even shaved his beard before the game, adhering to the rules put forth by his former general manager, Lou Lamoriello.

“I did it for him, no one else,” Lehner said. “He’s one of the best GMs in the league. I respect him more than most. What a man he is, same with Trotz.”


The Islanders announced before the game that left wing Matt Martin and defenseman Robin Salo were placed in the health and safety protocol, joining center Mathew Barzal, who missed his third straight game.

NOTES: Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 1,631st NHL game, four games behind Scott Stevens among defensemen. Chris Chelios is first with 1,651. The 44-year-old Chara is 11th overall in NHL games. … The Islanders honored defenseman Andy Greene with a pregame ceremony for his 1,000th game, which he played Nov. 15 at Tampa Bay.


Islanders: Monday’s home game against Montreal has been postponed. The next scheduled game is home against Washington on Thursday.

Golden Knights: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ukraine basketball players find homes at Canadian college

The squeak of their shoes and the thump of the ball on the court feels blessedly normal for Vika Kovalevska and Vlada Hozalova. Basketball provides a brief sanctuary from the ceaseless undercurrent of tension they feel about what’s happening at home in Ukraine. The game also helps ground them in their new life in southern […]
23 hours ago
This photo provided by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne shows Sophie Hernandez compet...
Associated Press

Olympic pentathlon eyes ‘Ninja Warrior’ courses for survival

The path to saving modern pentathlon from Olympic removal may just be filled with obstacles. As in, ring swings, rope mazes, balance beams and warped walls. Imagine an “American Ninja Warrior” style obstacle course set up in the middle of the Coliseum for the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games. That sort of scene could rescue […]
23 hours ago
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws to the plate during the first inning of a b...
Associated Press

Rockies beat Dodgers 5-2 after Urias departs in last start

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Julio Urias made his final tune-up for the postseason and case for the Cy Young Award a solid one, though the Colorado Rockies went ahead after he left and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Tuesday night. Urias pitched five innings and allowed two runs — both on solo homers. […]
23 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani walks to the dugout after striking out against the Oakland Athlet...
Associated Press

Langeliers’ bases-loaded walk sends A’s past Angels, 2-1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shea Langeliers drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning, sending the Oakland Athletics past the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Tuesday night. “Those are the moments you practice for right there,” Langeliers said. “All the hard work you do goes in, and it shows up when you need it right […]
23 hours ago
San Diego Padres' Wil Myers celebrates after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseb...
Associated Press

Padres wrap up 5th seed in NL playoffs, beating Giants 6-2

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sean Manaea allowed only one hit in six shutout innings and the San Diego Padres wrapped up the fifth seed in the NL playoffs, beating the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Tuesday night. “Fantastic — his pitch count, breaking ball, change-up, everything,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said about Manaea. “He had […]
23 hours ago
Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92's Victor Wembanyama, center, guards NBA G League Ignite's Scoot...
Associated Press

Analysis: Wembanyama showed the repertoire, as NBA watched

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Victor Wembanyama didn’t wait long to make an impression. The 7-foot-4 French phenomenon from the club Metropolitans 92 blocked shots at the rim and on the perimeter, got rebounds, ran the floor, set screens, scored on a nifty spin move, showed off his ability to dribble, dove for a loose ball […]
23 hours ago
Golden Knights edge Islanders 4-3 in SO in Lehner’s return