Vegas opens Stanley Cup semifinal with 4-1 win over Montreal

Shea Theodore had a purpose and an help, Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 within the first sport of the Stanley Cup semifinal

LAS VEGAS — Shea Theodore had a purpose and an help, Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 within the first sport of the Stanley Cup semifinal.

Vegas’ fifth-straight victory within the playoffs ended Montreal’s postseason win streak at seven. Recreation 2 is Wednesday evening.

Fleury, whose ninetieth profession playoff win leaves him two shy of tying Grant Fuhr for third place all-time, has now allowed two or fewer objectives in 9 of his 13 playoff appearances this season.

Alec Martinez, Mattias Janmark, and Nick Holden additionally scored for the Golden Knights, who had been vividly fueled by an introduced crowd of 17,884 glow-stick waving followers.

Rookie Cole Caufield scored his first profession playoff purpose for Montreal, whereas goaltender Carey Value made 26 saves.

It marked Montreal’s first sport in america since March 7, 2020, when it visited the Florida Panthers. It was additionally the Canadiens’ first sport with greater than 2,500 followers in attendance since March 10, 2020, once they hosted the Nashville Predators in entrance of 21,021 followers inside Bell Centre.

Montreal got here out swinging, actually, with an introduction to old-school, Unique Six physicality. Trying to set up their presence, and present no indicators of intimidation of the very best remaining seed within the postseason, the Canadiens pushed and shoved their means into Recreation 1.

Alexander Romanov opted to flatten Alex Pietrangelo, who was streaking into the offensive zone, relatively than play the puck. Brendan Gallagher crowded Fleury upon stoppage, prompting the Vezina Trophy candidate to pop up in retaliation mode. Corey Perry exchanged phrases with former Montreal captain Max Pacioretty simply earlier than a faceoff, then gave him an additional shove when the puck dropped. Then it was Brett Kulak and Pietrangelo getting twisted up after a whistle.

It took a few arduous hits of their very own, however the Golden Knights muscled up with a rugged shift halfway by way of the opening interval that led to a draw of their offensive zone. Chandler Stephenson gained the faceoff to the left of Value, with the puck ending up with Brayden McNabb, who discovered Theodore, who proceeded to launch a rocket from the blue line to present Vegas a 1-0 lead.

Wanting as if he was going to tee off from the purpose early within the second interval, Theodore drew again his stick to tug Value towards the entrance of the crease, then dished to his proper, the place Martinez was in place with a wide-eyed search for a one-timer.

The Canadiens lastly scored when Caufield, who was given the Hobey Baker Award as the highest collegiate participant in April, snapped house a power-play rebound from the left circle, catching Fleury out of place after an preliminary save.

Janmark put house a rebound 53 seconds later, pushing Vegas’ lead again to 2 objectives, 3-1.

With a thunderous chant of “Fleury’s higher!!!” reverberating behind Perry, Reilly Smith despatched a beautiful move by way of the zone to Holden, who fired a wrist shot blocker aspect to place Vegas forward 4-1 halfway by way of the third interval.

It marked the primary time this postseason a group obtained three objectives from defensemen in a single sport.

Groups that win Recreation 1 are 108-50 (.684) profitable a best-of-7 NHL semifinals sequence.


Extra AP NHL: and—Sports activities

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