Vegas takes 1-0 lead over Montreal in 4-1 win
The Vegas Golden Knights fought fire with fire and proved they are a better goal team as they beat the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semis, 4-1. Vegas looks to keep their pace going after beating them in an easy game to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
While the offence was seen as the big factor in the win, Vegas' stellar defence made it easy for them to win. Montreal could not punch through their wall and only had one goal for the whole game.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves, and it was the biggest story of the game aside from their offence. The goalie was blocking out shots here and there and made it look easy for the rest of the team as well.
The Golden Knights jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first frame, and they were on fire from all angles. They did a great job of making long passes to make easy cuts to the goal cage. Montreal came back with a goal from Cole Caufield to make it 2-1.
Montreal’s loss saw them snap their streak of seven wins in a row. The Canadiens have never lost a game since Game 4 in the first round to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Vegas did a great job of studying their opponents despite coming off a Game 6 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
How Vegas got ready for Montreal
Vegas came into this game with little rest. This was the second team in a row that the Golden Knights have faced that came from a sweep in their prior series. Still, they had the chance to look at their past games, and they did well to take over the game.
Vegas read their plays well and had the perfect counter at every turn. It was the whole story for this game. The Golden Knights made it easy with rich passing and it was easy for them to get the plays they wanted as the Canadiens played with a slow pace. Coach Peter DeBoer knew they had the pace from start to finish.
‘The first goal was huge, and at the right time too in the first period for us with how we were playing’, the coach said. ‘Gave us a little bit of a shot to take a deep breath and find our game. Fleury was our best player, and then I really liked our game in the second and third’.
Montreal had no answer for the strong push Vegas had in the game. It was the team’s grit on display and they kept on yet it was not enough to pull off a win over Vegas. They will need more from their lead stars if they want to make this one a series.
Good looks for Vegas
Nick Holden was pleased about being able to score in the win. He knew the work they had to do just to get to their spot and beat the Canadiens in a big victory as well.
‘We talked about we’re getting up in the play to make sure we had good gaps if pucks were turned over’, Holden said. ‘But ended up being that we were able to jump and get some pucks and then score some goals and make some plays’.
Vegas seeks to take control of the series and earn their shot at the final. The team would surely want to close this one out and win a title soon.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores