Josh Anderson scored his second aim of the night time at 12:53 of additional time and Carey Price made 43 saves because the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Friday to a take a 2-1 lead of their Stanley Cup semifinal sequence.
Cole Caufield had the opposite aim for Montreal, which was minus interim head coach Dominique Ducharme after he examined optimistic for COVID-19 within the hours earlier than puck drop.
Luke Richardson made his NHL head teaching debut earlier than 3,500 followers on the Bell Centre in Ducharme’s absence because the plucky Canadiens received in OT for the fourth time in these playoffs.
Game four of the best-of-seven matchup goes Sunday night time.
Anderson’s winner got here after he knocked down an aerial go on the offensive blue line. The puck fell to Paul Byron, who handed again to Anderson for his third aim of the playoffs, sending the Bell Centre right into a chaotic celebration.
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After the Golden Knights, who led 30-8 on the shot clock through 40 minutes, killed off a penalty to start the third, Pietrangelo fired his fourth goal of the playoffs — and third in the last two games — under Price’s blocker from the high slot on an odd-man rush at 2:22.
The Montreal goaltender kept his team within striking distance a few minutes later, robbing Alex Tuch with a terrific pad stop on a 2-on-1 with former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty before Corey Perry came close at the other end.
Fleury then made another stop on Tyler Toffoli with five minutes left, but could have been fitted for goat horns after misplaying the puck behind his net and gifting Anderson his second of the playoffs into an open net with 1:55 remaining in regulation to force OT.
Without No. 1 centre Chandler Stephenson (upper-body injury) for the second straight game, Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer moved the hulking Tuch from the wing on the third line to his top trio between Pacioretty and Mark Stone.
Ducharme’s absence is just the latest bump in the road for Montreal in a trying 2020-2021 season.
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The Canadiens bought off to a sizzling begin, however stumbled in February, which led to the firing of Claude Julien and affiliate coach Kirk Muller, and the promotion of the 48-year-old Ducharme from an assistant’s position to the highest job.
Montreal additionally handled a COVID-19 outbreak after two gamers went into league protocol earlier than a variety of key accidents hampered the crew because it limped into the playoffs.
The Canadiens have been anticipated to be blown out by the Toronto Maple Leafs within the first spherical, however rebounded from a 3-1 sequence deficit to stun their Original Six rivals in seven video games.
Montreal was once more an underdog in opposition to Winnipeg within the battle for the Canadian-based North Division crown solely to once more shock the hockey world by sweeping the Jets.
The NHL mentioned in a press release earlier than Game Three asserting Ducharme’s optimistic check that all the Canadiens’ gamers, fellow coaches and crew employees got here again with destructive outcomes each Thursday and Friday.
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Montreal additionally needed to do with out its coach throughout final summer season’s post-season bubble when Julien was rushed to a Toronto hospital with chest pains earlier than having a stent put in into one among his coronary arteries.
In his seventh season as an NHL assistant — and third with Montreal — Richardson was head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators from 2012 by means of 2016.
With coronavirus restrictions additional relaxed in Quebec, the Canadiens have been allowed to spice up attendance by 1,000 contained in the Bell Centre after welcoming 2,500 spectators for his or her final three house video games.
Following a primary interval the place the Golden Knights carried the play and held a 16-Three shot edge after Montreal had nice begins in Games 1 and a couple of in Sin City — successful the latter 3-2 on Wednesday — Vegas lastly bought on the board at 3:16 of the second on a present from Canadiens winger Eric Staal.
The veteran ahead inexplicably threw a go in entrance of his personal web that was intercepted by Roy, who roofed his second.
Montreal bought that one proper again simply 38 seconds later when Nick Suzuki — no worse for put on following an enormous open-ice hit from Brayden McNabb earlier within the interval — blocked a shot and fed a go forward to a streaking Caufield.
Montreal’s rookie sniper moved in alone and fired his second over Fleury’s glove.