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Oscar Dansk To Get Start Vs. Blackhawks On Tuesday

Coach Gerard Gallant explains his reasoning behind selecting the rookie goalie to start

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Oscar Dansk and Maxime Lagace.

The Golden Knights' two new goalies, on the NHL roster after both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban were placed on IR in the past 10 days.

Neither goalie has ever started an NHL game.

Neither one has ever faced a team with the offensive pedigree of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Speaking at City National Arena on Tuesday morning, Gerard Gallant confirmed that it'll be Dansk getting the nod this evening at T-Mobile Arena. Gallant added that there isn't much rationale behind this move, except that Dansk came on in relief of Subban to defeat the Blues on Saturday.

And although Dansk only played a grand total of 14 minutes and faced 11 shots in his NHL debut, it was enough to persuade the Golden Knights' coach's decision.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: It won���t be his first Dansk, but it will be his first start.In other words, Oscar Dansk just told us that he���s starting in goal tonight.

 

"He won the game the other night," Gallant said. "He's 1-0 in his career. Lagace's only played three games - it's not like he's played a whole lot. It's early in the year. I don't know who's three or four on our depth chart. We're going to give both of these guys a chance."

 

Video: Oscar Dansk comments on starting vs. Chicago

 

Taking over for Subban with 9:10 remaining in the third period of a game the Golden Knights led 2-1, Dansk gave up a goal to Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on the first shot he faced. From there, Dansk was flawless, stopping 10 straight shots, including several Grade A chances in overtime.

Dansk played in one AHL game for the Chicago Wolves this season, giving up six goals on 36 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Texas Stars. He spent the past two seasons playing professionally in Sweden, after being drafted in the second round (31st overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012.

 

Video: STL@VGK: Dansk stands strong to deny Schwartz

 

"I've seen him make some saves," Gallant said of Dansk. "Again, I'm the coach, we have a goalie coach, who analyzes all the saves he makes and how he plays in the nets. I thought he played well.

"First goal, he had no chance on. Most goalies wouldn't have stopped that shot from Pietrangelo from the position he shot that puck. He made a couple key saves in overtime. I like what I saw."

Hopefully we see more of that tonight.

Dansk added that while he acknowledges that Blackhawks present more of a challenge than he's ever faced, that he's trying not to get caught up in who the other team is. That despite the celebrated stature of players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Dansk is just trying to keep everything simple, not psyche himself out and just approach this game as if it's any other game.

Even though it's hardly just any other game for this 23-year-old, starting in an NHL game for the first time and against a championship favorite.

"These are the guys I grew up watching," Dansk said. "Seen lots of highlights. You just have to play the game the way it comes to you.

"It's a cool experience. That's for sure. I'm really excited for it. I'm going to go out there and play my game. I've worked hard every day. Just go out, play hard and do my best."

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