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Lehner would 'not be mad' if Blackhawks pulled him for shootout

Goalie, 8-22 in tiebreaker, searching for answers after loss to Stars

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Robin Lehner has struggled with shootouts in his NHL career, and the Chicago Blackhawks goalie said he would understand if he were pulled for another goalie before the next one.

"I just want to win. I came here to help this team win," Lehner said on Monday, two days after the Blackhawks lost 2-1 to the Dallas Stars in a shootout. 

"I just want us to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs. That's why I signed here. So if the coach feels that, he should definitely go for it," said Lehner, who signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on July 1 after he was a Vezina Trophy finalist for the New York Islanders last season. 

"I would definitely not be mad. All for the team, and I wouldn't take it personal because I know I'm a good hockey goalie. Has nothing to do with the shootout. Has nothing to do with the breakaways. It's just a totally different game."

Lehner saved 40 of the 41 shots he faced in regulation and overtime against the Stars before allowing two goals on two shots in the shootout. He has lost 22 of 30 career shootouts with a .521 save percentage. He has allowed four goals on five shots in losing two shootouts this season.

Video: CHI@DAL: Lehner denies Stars shots from up close

Coach Jeremy Colliton, when asked if he would consider pulling Lehner before a shootout, said, "we haven't talked about it. [Lehner's] played really well for us. We've had a couple shootouts where we lost. I don't think that detracts from the job he's doing in the net."

Lehner is 5-4-3 with a 2.38 goals-against average and an NHL-leading .938 save percentage in 13 games. Lehner said he took to Twitter to defend himself on Sunday partially because he was frustrated with the media's take on his shootout record and the Blackhawks results.

"We went head to head against one of the best teams in the League last game. What are they, 10-1 in their last 11 games?" Lehner said of the Stars. "We lose that game and what's the headlines? [Forward Alex] DeBrincat can't buy a goal, Robin can't stop a shootout, we can't get a call. The negativity's overwhelming. We've been playing a little up and down, but we're getting better and we're in the race. We played a great game against one of the better teams, we lost in a lottery, and then it turns all negative. We believe in each other in here."

Lehner also enjoyed a bit of "fun and games" on Twitter, taking suggestions for improving his shootout results.

Video: CHI@NSH: Lehner stops Arvidsson with his pad

"Honestly, to see what the guys on the Twitter will have to say," Lehner said. "I actually got some good ones. A Harvard study sent me [something] yesterday on shootouts, I thought that was interesting. So, just kind of livening it up a little bit."

The Blackhawks (9-9-5) play the Stars at United Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, SN, NHL.TV). 

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