Lehner was back in net for overtime, and said after ward that he was fine. As for the game-ending goal, he said, “It happened pretty quick. … Tough to judge right now.”
Vegas tied the game at 2 with 7:14 left in regulation on Alex Tuch’s goal that was challenged by the Stars, who felt there was interference against Khudobin. The goalie was in front of the right post with Mark Stone against him when Tuch’s shot went over his left shoulder and into the net.
“Nothing I can say about it, I think I was out of the crease. That was it,” Khudobin said.
The unsuccessful challenge put the Golden Knights on a power play, during which Khudobin made a pair of sprawling saves, including one when a shot by Tuch ended up under his left leg.
Dallas led 1-0 after Jamie Oleksiak scored on a breakaway with 17 seconds remaining in the second period, starting the offensive charge when he blocked a shot by Stone. Oleksiak took a pass from fellow defenceman Miro Heiskanen and stayed ahead of Alex Martinez before using a forehand, backhand move for the goal.
The puck went off the left leg of Lehner and trickled into the net just inside the right post. That ended Lehner’s shutout streak of more than 171 minutes that had set a post-season franchise record.
Lehner had shutout wins in his previous two games, including the Game 7 winner over Vancouver in the second round, and Game 2 against the Stars two days earlier when he stopped 24 shots. The Golden Knights record had been 144:04 two years ago by Marc-Andre Fluery, still their primary goal until Lehner was acquired in a deadline trade this season.
Vegas got even at 1 on Shea Theodore’s power-play goal early in the third period, a wrister for a long shot through traffic, soon after his one-timer from the top of the left circle got past Khudobin but ricocheted off the far post when the Golden Knights had a 5-on-3 advantage.
“Didn’t capitalise on our chances,” Stone said. “We had four or five good looks in the power play after the tying goal on the challenge. We had opportunities to win the game.”