Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights let Game 3 slip away after a late gaffe. It’s time to stop sleeping on the Montreal Canadiens, especially after they recorded their first comeback victory of the playoffs.
Check out the ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily to catch up every day of the postseason until the Stanley Cup is handed out in July.
Game 4: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders | 8 p.m. (Lightning lead 2-1)
To beat the Islanders, the Lightning became the Islanders. The Bolts played a stingy defensive game to win Game 3, blocking 21 shots (with 11 different players blocking at least one). Tampa Bay is also riding a red hot Brayden Point, who has goals in six straight games.
But the Isles have been here before; they’ve been down 2-1 in each of their series so far, before winning each of the previous two. The Isles need to find more offense after scoring just five total goals on Andrei Vasilevskiy in three games so far, so coach Barry Trotz is pondering some changes. An obvious candidate to draw in is Oliver Wahlstrom. The rookie was injured in Game 5 against Pittsburgh in the first round, and hasn’t been able to crack the lineup since.
About last night
Montreal Canadiens 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Canadiens lead 2-1)
The Golden Knights were less than two minutes away from victory. Then goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury tried playing the puck behind the net, and everything changed. Fleury accidentally kicked the puck to open ice — reminiscent of his gaffe at the 2004 world junior championship gold medal game — leaving Josh Anderson to stuff the puck in for a game-tying goal with 1:55 left. Anderson also scored the overtime winner to give Montreal a surprising series lead.
It was an eventful day for the Habs, as coach Dominique Ducharme was forced to miss the game after twice testing positive for COVID. “I feel like we’ve always responded well to the adversity,” goaltender Carey Price said. “Tonight was just another example of that. Not having Dom behind the bench was just another twist that we were going to have to deal with.”
Three stars of the night
The Habs acquired Anderson from the Blue Jackets in October, 2020 for Max Domi. He had been on a so-so stretch — just one goal over the last 24 games — then broke out in a big way.
Anderson scored the goal that sent the game to overtime late in the third, then the overtime winner, in what is likely his best game so far as a Hab.
The Canadiens wouldn’t be where they are today if not for their goaltender. Price is 10-4 with a .932 save percentage these playoffs, including another massive performance on Friday night.
Another game, another goal for Vegas’ new No. 1 defenseman, who has been showing why he’s worth that seven year deal worth $8.8 million annually in these playoffs. Pietrangelo now has 11 points in the postseason. He has three goals in this series, which is more than any Vegas forward has.
Quote of the day
“I loved our game. If we can play like that for the next week, I have a hard time believing they’re going to beat us two more times.”
— Vegas coach Peter DeBoer
Goal of the day
The 20-year-old Cole Caufield scored his second goal in three games, and it was a beauty. And to think, next year he will still technically be a rookie.
GOAL CAUFIELD – just beautiful! #StanleyCup
— NHL (@NHL) June 19, 2021
“Because it’s the Cup” moment of the day
Fans in Montreal weren’t too happy about the uncalled high stick that left Corey Perry looking like this (amid some other gripes about officiating).
— BobbyLotsOfNumbers (@TheReplayGuy) June 19, 2021
But the veteran couldn’t be kept in the dressing room, walking out to celebrate with teammates.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 19, 2021
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