Last week on the Knightly Recap, the Vegas Golden Knights faced off against division rival Colorado Avalanche in games 4, 5 and 6 during their second round matchup. The Golden Knights went on to win all three games to advance to the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the red hot Montréal Canadiens.
This week on the Knightly Recap, the Golden Knights and Canadiens played their first three games of the series. The first two games were at Vegas while game 3 was in Montréal. With that said, welcome to week 23 of the Knightly Recap.
Game 1: June 14 vs. Montréal Canadiens
Three of the four goals scored by the Golden Knights this game were scored by defenseman. Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden scored in all three periods of the game.
PLAYOFF NICK HOLDEN!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Y8uKM73Gdh
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 15, 2021
The Need for Speed
There wasn’t a point in this game where the Golden Knights let up after coming off a grueling, hard fought six game series against the Avalanche. They were on point and this was by far their best game this postseason.
Everything seemed to click for the Golden Knights in all three zones. The Golden Knights also exposed how aggressive the Canadiens defense was as they collapsed on them in high scoring chance areas.
Final score: 4-1 VGK
Goal scorers: MTL – Cole Caufield (12:05 2nd Period)
VGK – Shea Theodore (9:15 1st Period), Alec Martinez (2:18 2nd Period), Mattias Janmark (12:58 2nd Period), Nick Holden (10:06 3rd Period)
Series: 1-0 VGK
Game 2: June 16 vs. Montréal Canadiens
A Tale of Two Games
The Canadiens turned their game around real quick as they made several adjustments to tie this series at one game a piece. Their defense was more proactive instead of reactive to the Golden Knights’ offense. They also had better scoring chances in the early stages of the game as they dictated the pace and tempo.
Also, a two goal first period really helped the team get going into the second period where Canadiens forward Paul Byron scored the team’s third unanswered goal.
Welcome to the Carey Price Show
Throughout the regular season, Canadiens goaltender Carey Price didn’t stand out as much compared to the likes of Golden Knights’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Tampa Bay Lightning’s goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
However, Price seemed to find his game once again during this playoff run. Price made two huge saves with one of them being on Martinez during the second period. Martinez had an open net to shoot at but Price was able to slide over and make a save to keep the game 2-0 at that point.
Price has no doubt been a big reason why this team’s playoff run has been special.
All Gas. No Brakes.
Even though the Golden Knights were down 3-0 heading into the third, they weren’t about to give up and just let this game slide. They came out with a relentless attitude putting up 17 shots on goal during the third period with two of those going into the net.
Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo almost led the team in another come-from-behind effort scoring those two goals in the third period. However, Pietrangelo wasn’t able to score a hat trick as he had chances going down the stretch of the game.
OH BOY HERE WE COME pic.twitter.com/QrQSelYZFf
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 17, 2021
Final score: 3-2 MTL
Goal scorers: MTL – Joel Armia (6:12 1st Period), Tyler Toffoli (16:30 1st Period), Paul Byron (17:45 2nd Period)
VGK – Alex Pietrangelo (18:46 2nd Period, 14:46 3rd Period)
Game 3: June 18 at Montréal Canadiens
COVID-19 Hits Montréal
Before the start of game 3, Canadiens head coach Dominique Durcharme was tested for COVID-19 and had to be isolated from the team. Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson stepped into the head coach position alongside Alexandre Burrows and Director of Goaltending Sean Burke.
Looking for Redemption
The Golden Knights knew that they could play a better game after what happened in game 2. And the Golden Knights came out strong early on with forward Nicolas Roy scoring the game’s first goal. However, Canadiens forward Cole Caufield scored 38 seconds later off a Golden Knights turnover to tie the game at one.
Welcome to the Carey Price Show: An Encore
There isn’t much to say in this section. Price still continues to play unbelievably well in this series making crucial save after crucial save.
Still Pressing On the Gas Pedal
Pietrangelo hasn’t disappointed the Golden Knights when it comes to his play throughout this postseason. He scored in the third period to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead. Pietrangelo has now scored three goals in the last two games of this series. He’s also scored four goals in the last four games dating back to the second round matchup against the Avalanche.
LASER BEAMS pic.twitter.com/BkRMRAeyEj
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 19, 2021
Fleury With a Not-So-Good Rare Moment
With just two minutes left in the game, it looked like the Golden Knights were going to take the 2-1 series lead. However, Fleury had misplayed the puck as it came around the boards behind his net in the third period.
Fleury then turned over the puck and with the net wide open Canadiens forward Josh Anderson scored the game tying goal at two goals a piece. Anderson would then score the overtime game winning goal to give the Canadiens the 2-1 series lead.
Final score 3-2 MTL
Goal scorers: MTL – Cole Caufield (3:54 2nd Period), Josh Anderson (18:05 3rd Period, 12:53 OT)
VGK – Nicolas Roy (3:16 2nd Period), Alex Pietrangelo (2:22 3rd Period)
Series: 2-1 MTL
Up Next on the Knightly Recap
The Golden Knights look to even the series heading into game 4. The Canadiens have been feeling really comfortable in just these three games but the Golden Knights are still a tough team to handle. The Golden Knights and Canadiens will play games 4, 5 and potentially 6 and 7.
Will the Golden Knights even up the series 2-2 and go on another four game winning streak just like in the second round against the Avalanche? Find out in the next Knightly Recap.