Mission complete for the Vegas Golden Knights.
It wasn’t quite a sweep but the Vegas Golden Knights eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in five after emerging as 4-3 winners in Game 5 on Tuesday.
Robin Lehner made 23 saves from 26 shots while the Golden Knights saw a number of their big hitters step up to the plate and deliver when it mattered most.
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Max Pacioretty chose the right time to record his first goal of the series, though, ripping home a loose puck at the end of the first period.
The Blackhawks soon ran out of gas however, and that’s when the Golden Knights really took over and took charge.
Vegas became the first team to advance through to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup, and they now get a few days rest before hitting the ice again.
Let’s break down the series-clinching Game 5 period-by-period…
Robin Lehner got the start for the Golden Knights, his fourth start of the series, while Tomas Nosek remained out of the lineup.
Vegas did a bad job of clearing the zone and they were punished as Jonathan Toews jammed home a rebound in front of the net.
It was then a two-nothing game after Connor Murphy spun his way around Nicolas Roy before giving the puck to Dylan Strome, who dished a pass to Alex DeBrincat who tapped the puck home.
But Max Pacioretty chose the right time to record his first goal of the series, ripping home a rebound at 19:29 to change the dynamic of the game.
Max Pacioretty’s goal late in the first clearly sent a jolt of energy through the Golden Knights and it paid off early in the middle frame.
At :57 the top line of Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson and Mark Stone played a game of tic-tac-toe with Karlsson firing a shot at Corey Crawford.
Karlsson picked up his own rebound and quickly found Stone who was able to beat Crawford with a one-timer to make it a tied game.
But Chicago were not going away and they jumped out to a lead again thanks to Patrick Kane, who went to the backhand and slipped the puck under the pads of Robin Lehner at 4:02.
This game was wild and it continued as the Golden Knights hit back once again to make it a tied game heading into the final period.
On the power play, Reilly Smith executed a beautiful cross-ice pass to Alec Martinez who fired home a deadly snipe.
Robin Lehner made the save of the night to deny Connor Murphy who was allowed to walk in the slot, while he also swallowed up a juicy rebound late in the period.
It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to light the lamp in the final period and it proved to be the game-winner.
Taking a pass from Jonathan Marchessault, Tuch took the puck to the net and had the presence to follow up his own rebound and jam the puck past Corey Crawford.
Tuch did light the lamp again but it was chalked off for goalie interference, although it didn’t matter as the Golden Knights took care of business to became the first team to advance to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Let’s go over some notes & stats from Game 5…