Sports Golden Knights at Canadiens: Five things you should know about Game 6
Canadiens will face Golden Knights in Stanley Cup semifinals
Vegas, baby! The Canadiens will be headed to Las Vegas to start the Stanley Cup semifinals. The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 Thursday night in Las Vegas to win the West Division final 4-2. The Avalanche won the first two games of the best-of-seven series before the Golden Knights came back and won four straight. The Canadiens advanced to the Stanley Cup semifinals by sweeping the Winnipeg Jets in the North Division final. The second Stanley Cup semifinal series will have the defending-champion Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the New York Islanders.
Here are five things you should know about Game 6 of the Canadiens-Golden Knights Stanley Cup semifinal at the Bell Centre Thursday (8 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM):
A chance to advance: The Canadiens return home with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series after a 4-1 win over the Golden Knights Tuesday in Las Vegas. A win would move the Canadiens into the Stanley Cup final for the first time since they last won the Cup in 1993. While the Canadiens will be on home ice and acting head coach Luke Richardson will have an opportunity to match lines, there are no guarantees. The teams split their first two games at the Bell Centre and the Canadiens have a slight 4-3 edge in playoff games at the Bell Centre this season.
Canadiens Game Day: Habs will face full house as series opens in Vegas
The Vegas Golden Knights had a 21-5-2 record at home during the regular season this year — and that was without a packed house. When the Canadiens face the Golden Knights in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series Monday night at T-Mobile arena there will be a full house with more than 18,000 screaming fans (9 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). It will be the same thing for Game 2 Wednesday night in Las Vegas. “We have When the Canadiens face the Golden Knights in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series Monday night at T-Mobile arena there will be a full house with more than 18,000 screaming fans (9 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
DeBoer faces a decision: Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer faces a tough decision regarding his starting goaltender. Does he stick with No. 1 Marc-André Fleury, who has a 1-3 record in this series and a career 4-7 playoff record against the Canadiens? Or does he go back to Robin Lehner, who made 27 saves Sunday to lead the Golden Knights to a 2-1 overtime win at the Bell Centre? There’s no decision required from Richardson, who will continue to ride Carey Price, who has a 2.02 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Youth movement paying off: Nick Suzuki is coming off a three-point game Tuesday in Vegas and the 21-year-old is second in team scoring with 13 points, one behind regular-season scoring leader Tyler Toffoli. He scored an empty-netter for his fifth goal, tying him with Toffoli, Joel Armia and 20-year-old Jesperi Kotkaniemi for the team lead. Kotkaniemi also scored Tuesday, while 20-year-old Cole Caufield showed why he’s destined for stardom when he beat Fleury on a one-timer after receiving a drop pass from veteran Corey Perry. Kotkaniemi and Caufield were healthy scratches when the playoffs began, but have become integral parts of the team’s playoff success.
About Last Night: Habs dealt 4-1 loss by Vegas in Game 1
The Montreal Canadiens were given a rude welcome by the Vegas Golden Knights in their first game of the season on American soil. The Golden Knights handed the Habs a 4-1 loss in the opener of their third-round series . Marc-André Fleury made 28 saves in the Game 1 victory. Vegas also received offensive contributions from their blue-liners, with Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden scoring goals. In the opening 10 minutes, things appeared a little more even. With Jeff Petry out of the lineup with a hand injury, Alex Romanov made his presence felt early with an open ice hit on Alex Pietrangelo. Rue barrée. ❌#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.
Danault plays key role: Phillip Danault didn’t earn an assist on Eric Staal’s goal Tuesday, but the goal doesn’t get scored if Danault doesn’t make a clearing pass a split second before absorbing a punishing hit from Mark Stone. Danault has only two assists in the playoffs, but you can’t underestimate the job Danault and linemates Brendan Gallagher and Artturi Lehkonen have done in limiting Vegas’ top scorers, Stone and former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, who have produced only one goal in the series. Danault was on the ice prior to the Staal goal because he was taking a defensive faceoff. Nineteen of his 24 draws Tuesday were in the Canadiens zone.
PK is something special: Danault is also part of the Canadiens’ record-setting penalty-kill. The Golden Knights are 0-for-12 on the power play and the Canadiens have killed off 27 consecutive power plays. That’s one shy of the NHL playoff record, but Montreal has set a record by not allowing a power-play goal in 12 consecutive games. The Canadiens, who ranked 23rd on the penalty kill during the regular season, have allowed only three goals on 44 power plays in the playoffs and they have added insult to injury by scoring a league-high four shorthanded goals, including two in one game by Armia.
Canadiens Notebook: Habs now hold home-ice advantage in series
The Canadiens now hold home-ice advantage with their Stanley Cup semifinal series against the Golden Knights becoming a best-of-five after the teams split the first two games in Las Vegas. Games 3 and 4 will be Friday and Sunday night at the Bell Centre and so will Game 6 next Thursday, if necessary. The Canadiens will be able to have 3,500 fans at the Bell Centre for those games, which all have 8 p.m. starts, after the Quebec health ministry increased the maximum for indoor and outdoor venues from 2,500 this week while loosening some COVID-19 restrictions. Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said the team went to Las Vegas with the objective of winning at least one game.
Canadiens Game Day: Habs can earn spot in Stanley Cup final with a win .
Shea Weber was 7 years old the last time the Canadiens advanced to the Stanley Cup final in 1993. “To be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot of that,” the team captain said after Thursday’s morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard when asked about the last Canadiens team to win the Stanley Cup. The Canadiens can advance to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 28 years with a victory over the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday night at the Bell Centre in Game 6 of their best-of-seven semifinal series (8 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).