EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Reilly Smith scored in overtime, Robin Lehner made 22 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 35 of the 39 shots he faced in a losing effort. Crawford and Lehner were teammates with Chicago until the trade deadline.
The Western Conference top-seeded Golden Knights are looking for their first playoff series victory since 2018. They reached the Stanley Cup Final that year, then lost to San Jose in seven games in the first round last year.
This was the third game already in the first round to go to overtime. Tampa Bay beat Columbus in the fifth overtime Tuesday, and Boston beat Carolina in double OT Wednesday. Smith’s goal came 7:13 into the first OT.
The Golden Knights were without regular-season leading scorer Max Pacioretty, who only joined them in the Edmonton bubble last week.
Paul Stastny opened the scoring for Vegas 10:44 in after strong work down low by Smith and Jonathan Marchessault. Tomas Nosek, who replaced Pacioretty in the lineup, made it 2-0 at the 15:35 mark of the first period.
Chicago got goals from rookies Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik in the second to tie it. Mark Stone restored the lead for Vegas with 2:40 left in the period, then Dylan Strome got it right back for the Blackhawks 13.6 seconds before intermission.
Patrick Kane assisted on all three Chicago goals in the second period. Crawford made 16 of his saves in the third period.
NOTES: Nosek took his last shift with three and a half minutes left in the second period and did not return. … Rookie D Lucas Carlsson made his Stanley Cup playoff debut, replacing Adam Boqvist on the Blackhawks blue line. … Stastny’s goal was his 23rd in the playoffs in his career, the most among Vegas players.
Game 3 is Saturday night.
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