Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goalie off the ice during the Golden Knights’ morning skate on Tuesday. That typically indicates that night’s starting goalie, and it appears Peter DeBoer will go back to the Vezina Trophy finalist for Game 5 (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN / Peacock) against the Canadiens.
Robin Lehner had the net in Game 4, which ended 2-1 in Vegas’ favor thanks to Nicolas Roy‘s overtime goal. Fleury had started their previous eight games dating back to Game 1 of their Second Round series against the Avalanche.
(Lehner did have some fun at the morning skate yelling at No. 3 goalie Logan Thompson to leave the ice first instead.)
DeBoer said Sunday night that the goalie swap had “zero to do” with Fleury’s mistake in Game 3, which led to Josh Anderson‘s tying goal with 1:55 left in the third period. Montreal would go on to win in overtime.
The move paid off as Lehner stopped 27 shots in the win. DeBoer pointed to Fleury’s workload, noting his 15 starts were tied for most in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
“For me,” DeBoer said, “knowing [Lehner], knowing how hard he’s worked, knowing the goalie he is, the gamble to play him having not played a lot lately was no bigger than the gamble of playing a fatigued, in my mind, goalie with no rest really on the horizon.”
Vegas has arguably the best goalie tandem in the NHL, and whether it’s an injury, fatigue, or Fleury or Lehner off their games, the ability to make a switch is one that comes with confidence in both of their abilities.
“We talked going into the playoffs about using our depth,” DeBoer said. “We’re not going to be afraid to do it in net. It’s the strength of the team.”
Making the switch back for Game 5 shows that DeBoer saw a tired goaltender who needed a break. After consecutive losses, with one coming thanks to a late-game gaffe, Marc-Andre Fleury can come back recharged ready to help Vegas win two of the next three and advance to another Stanley Cup Final.
CANADIENS VS. GOLDEN KNIGHTS (Series tied 2-2) – series livestream link
Game 1: Golden Knights 4, Canadiens 1
Game 2: Canadiens 3, Golden Knights 2
Game 3: Canadiens 3, Golden Knights 2 (OT)
Game 4: Golden Knights 2, Canadiens 1 (OT)
Game 5: Tues. June 22: Canadiens at Golden Knights, 9 p.m ET (NBCSN / Peacock)
Game 6: Thurs. June 24: Golden Knights at Canadiens, 8 p.m. ET (USA Network / Peacock)
*Game 7: Sat. June 26: Canadiens at Golden Knights, 8 p.m ET (NBCSN / Peacock)