NHL roundup: Golden Knights stun Isles, Penguins win seven in a row, and more

robin lehner islanders
Dec 19, 2021; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders left wing Zach Parise (11) attempts a wrap around on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) while defended by Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague (14) during the second period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL schedule for Sunday had as many games postponed as were played.

On Long Island, former Islanders’ goaltender Robin Lehner made a triumphant and dramatic return with the Golden Knights. Plus the Pittsburgh Penguins are shooting up the standings with their seventh win.

Let’s dive into the recaps.

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Golden Knights 4, Islanders 3 (SO)

Shea Theodore scored the tying goal in the final minute of regulation and collected the first of Vegas’ two scores in the shootout Sunday afternoon as the Golden Knights edged the New York Islanders 4-3 in Elmont, N.Y.

Jonathan Marchessault scored in the first period and Nicolas Roy also scored in the shootout for the Golden Knights, who completed a perfect four-game Eastern Conference road trip. Robin Lehner, starting against the Islanders on the road for the first time since his lone season with the team in 2018-19 made 29 saves in regulation and overtime before turning back two attempts by the Islanders in the shootout.

Theodore scored 5:46 into the period to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead before Bellows scored the tying goal off a Vegas turnover with 5:41 left. A potential go-ahead goal by Cal Clutterbuck was overturned because the Islanders were offsides with 3:17 remaining, but Pageau broke the tie by beating Lehner from point-blank range 57 seconds later.

Lehner was pulled with about 90 seconds left and Theodore tied the score with a scorching shot from the blue line with 48 seconds remaining.

The Islanders outshot the Golden Knights 7-1 in overtime but could not produce the game-winner.

“It’s so much more than hockey to me, I can’t explain it,” Lehner said via NHL.com. “It’s the love I have for the guys there, this team, the organization, the fans, [how] they helped me with my life.”

Jets 4, Blues 2

Paul Stastny scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets past the visiting St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday and give new coach Dave Lowry his first victory.

Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and three assists and Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist for the Jets, who snapped their three-game losing streak.

Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves to earn the victory.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola scored goals and Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich had two assists for the Blues, who suffered just their second regulation loss in their last 12 games.

Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the Blues in his first start since Nov. 30. He had been sidelined in COVID-19 protocol.

Penguins 3, Devils 2

NHL roundup
Dec 19, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Drew O’Connor (10) reacts after defenseman Mike Matheson (not pictured) scores a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Jon Gillies (32) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Matheson’s third-period goal held up as the winner Sunday, giving the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins their seventh straight win, 3-2 over the reeling New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

“I just like the compete,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “I like the attitude. These guys, I think, they really care for one another. I think they play hard for one another. Just the compete and the resilience that I think the group has displayed here throughout most of the season.”

Teddy Blueger and Danton Heinen also scored for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 17 saves to improve to 10-1-1 in his past 12 starts.

Janne Kuokkanen and Nathan Bastian scored for the Devils, who chased the game from the start and lost their sixth in a row.

Goaltender Jon Gillies, making his New Jersey debut and playing in his 14th career game, made 19 saves.

The Devils were back to a full lineup after playing a man short the night before as Jesper Bratt returned from a non-COVID illness.

Kings 3, Capitals 2

Blake Lizotte, Christian Wolanin and Adrian Kempe scored to help the visiting Los Angeles Kings rally for a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.

Garret Sparks made 32 saves in his debut with the Kings, who trailed 2-0 late in the second period, a night after losing 5-1 at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Connor McMichael and Justin Schultz scored, and Vitek Vanecek made 21 saves for the Capitals, who entered with points in six of their previous seven games (4-1-2).

Kempe got loose on a breakaway and scored for a 3-2 lead at 9:36 of the third period.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article.