Sports

Canadiens return to cup final after defeating Las Vegas 3-2 OT

Montreal-(AP)-Arturi Reconen scored 1:39 in overtime, Carey Price stopped 37 shots and Montreal Canadians defeated Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 for the first time in 28 years We advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. Thursday night.

Cole Caufield and captain Shea Weber also scored, and the Canadians eliminated the Golden Knights in Game 6 of the semi-final series. Considered just a retrofit after entering the playoffs with the worst record, Montreal has scored 11 out of 13 since 3-1 behind Toronto in the first round series.

Montreal will be competing in the playoff-leading 35th Stanley Cup Finals, announcing shots to add to the 24th Championship. The Canadians will face the winner of the semi-final series between defending champion Lightning and the New York Islanders. Round 7 will take place on Friday in Tampa Bay.

The Golden Knights made their third semi-final appearance in four seasons, but haven’t returned to the championship round since losing to Washington in five games in their first campaign of 2018. They were revived by a sputtering attack that managed only 9 goals against Montreal following the opening victory of the 4-1 series and a 0-of-17 anemic power play against the Canadians.

The game was decided in a showdown at the end of Montreal, after Price held his position to stop former Canadians captain Max Pacioretty set up in the circle on the left. Nick Suzuki of Montreal won the Vegas Zone and made a pass to the left for Lekonen. Reconen hit Robin Lehner high on the short side.

Lehner stopped 29 shots.

The Golden Knights erased the deficit of one goal twice. Riley Smith scored 48 seconds after Weber started scoring. Alec Martinez tied it again in 68 seconds in the third period by transforming the rebound after Price couldn’t glove Alex Pietrangero’s shot from the top of the right circle.

Golden Knights coach Peter Devoa headed to Lehner for the second time in a row in Montreal, and the team made their second cross-country trip in three days.

Lehner provided Vegas with the long-awaited lift, stopping 27 shots in a 2 to 1 extra time in Game 4, stopping even 2 in the series. Fleury gave up three goals on Tuesday’s 16th start with 25 shots.

This was an unlikely end for the Golden Knights team, who finished the regular season 40-14-2 and scored 82 points for the President’s Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche. Vegas overcame adversity in the first two playoff rounds. The Golden Knights wasted an opening round 3-1 series lead to Minnesota before winning Game 7. Vegas was then behind 2-0 in the second round to Colorado before winning the next four games.

In Montreal, as in 1993, when Patrick Roy’s veteran defense-first team with a star goalkeeper made a surprise run and defeated Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings in five games to beat Montreal. I feel it. The 24th Stanley Cup.

Luke Richardson, assistant coach of the Canadians who was playing for Edmonton at the time, sees a lot of similarities.

“There is always a difference,” he said earlier in the day. “But I remember playing against that team. It was a tough and stingy team to play against, and that’s what we want to be every night.

Though considered an underdog throughout the playoffs, this week Canadians general manager Marc Bergevin’s off-season vision of building a team with strong defenses is more than normal. He said it was suitable for the playoffs. Montreal was affected by an injury and a coronavirus outbreak later in the season at the end of 0-3-2 with a finish of 24-21-11.

The Canadians then began a playoff against Toronto to recover from the 3-1 first round series deficit before sweeping Winnipeg Jet in the second round. The Canadiens regain adversity by opening a semi-final with a 4-1 defeat in Vegas before regaining a defensive, stuffy, quick-strike transitional offensive identity to win four of the next five I faced it.

They played with a solid focus and overcame the missing interim coach Dominique Ducharme, who spent the last four games in quarantine after testing for COVID-19 positivity last week.

Montreal has been the sixth Canadian-based team since 1994 and the first team since Vancouver Canucks lost to Boston in seven games in 2011.

The Canadians also anchored on Quebec’s Cultural Holiday, San Jean Baptist Day, which corresponds to US Independence Day.

The area around Bell Center was crowded more than two hours before the showdown, and guards locked out fans from the arena side of St. Antoine Street, where players enter. Instead, many fans were limited to looking behind a permanent barrier on the other side of the street. Due to COVID restrictions, only 3,500 fans could participate, and far more people packed the square outside the arena.

On the advice of Montreal police, the Canadians kept fans in the building after Rikonen scored.

Four knights?

The Canadiens Top 4 Defenses may have a new nickname.

Assistant coach Luke Richardson, who played the NHL’s 21-season defense, has Ben Chiarot’s 6-foot-3, 225-frame, intense mesh that blends nicely with Shay, Montreal’s other top-three blueliner. Focusing on that, we were discussing the value of Ben Chiarot to the team. Weber, Geoff Petrie, Joel Edmundson.

“He’s a horse,” Richardson said of Cheerott. “These four Clydesdales play well and play heavily.”

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