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3 Keys: Golden Knights in Canadiens, Game 4 of Semi-Finals

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Golden Knights in Canadiens

8 p.m. E.T.; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS

Montreal leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

The Vegas Golden Knights are even looking forward to the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Semifinals with a Game 4 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Montreal’s Bell Center on Sunday.

The Canadiens took the series lead with a 3-2 win in extra time in Game 3 on Friday. forward Josh Anderson draw 2-2 after a miscue by keeper Marc Andre Fleury with 1:55 left in the third period, then the winner was scored at 12:53 in overtime.

Robin Lehner was in the starter’s net during the morning skate, but Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer declined to confirm whether he would replace Fleury.

“We have a chance tonight to win a game and take control of this series back home, so I think your play-off mentality should always be short of memory and prepare for the next one,” said DeBoer. “We did a lot of good things last game, didn’t lead to a win. Let’s play that game again tonight. I would expect a better result if we can.”

Corey Perry said the Canadiens understand the importance of extending their series lead. Teams leading 3-1 are 69-1 (.986) winning a best-of-7 NHL semifinal series.

“We were a little slow to get into that game in Game 3,” said the Montreal forward. “We started to find our legs as the game progressed, but [the] We don’t play like that in the first half of that game. We’re on top of the pucks, we’re on top of the people, we’re moving the puck fast. So we’ll just come back to that and hopefully we’ll have a good start again like we did in Vegas (in Games 1 and 2).

Here are 3 keys for Game 4:

1. Stone, Pacioretty must stand up

Mark Stone led the Golden Knights during the regular season with 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists) and Max Pacioretty came in second with 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists). The two forwards have combined one point, an assist from Pacioretty in Game 3, in the first three games of the series. Pacioretty has eight shots on target and Stone has five, so chances have been there. They will have to rediscover their scoring urges if the Golden Knights are to continue.

2. Canadiens to customize without Ducharme

With Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme off the bench due to a positive COVID-19 test, assistant Luke Richardson took over for Game 3. Richardson normally leads the defence, but now the attackers will have to get used to his in-game instructions and tactics as well.

“I think I speak for all defenders when I say we’re all going through a wall for Luke and I think that’s the best compliment you can give a coach.” Ben Chiarot said. “We would go through a wall for him because we know he would go through a wall for us. He’s a player’s coach.”

3. Fast start for Golden Knights

The Canadiens recipe for success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was simple: start well to avoid chasing the game. Montreal entered Game 3 after scoring first in eight of their previous nine games and going 8-1 over that stretch. It was a different story in Game 3. Vegas defeated Montreal 30-8 in the first two periods to open the scoring, but Carey Price held the score at 1-1.

“Clearly [Price is] a good goalkeeper, so he’s going to stop a lot of pucks”, defender of Golden Knights Zach Whitecloud said. “We just have to keep firing and of course not get frustrated.”

Golden Knights Projected Lineup

Max Pacioretty — Alex cloth — Mark Stone

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

Mattias JanmarkNicolas RoyTomas Nosek

William CarrierKeegan KolesarRyan Reaves

Alec MartinezAlex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabbShea Theodorus

Nick Holden –Zach Whitecloud

Robin Lehner

Marc Andre Fleury

scratched: Patrick Brown, Nicolas Haag, Cody Glass, Logan Thompson, Jiri Patera, Jack Dugan, Peyton Krebs, Jonas Rondbjerg, Kaedan Korczak, Dylan Coghlan, Carl Dahlstrom, Jimmy Schuldt, Dylan Sikura

Injured: Chandler Stephenson (not published)

Canadien’s Projected Lineup

Artturi LehkonenPhilip DanaultBrendan Gallagher

Tyler ToffoliNick SuzukiCole Caufield

Paul ByronJesperi Kotkaniemi –Josh Anderson

Joel ArmiaEric Staal — Corey Perry

Ben Chiarot- Shea Weber

Joel EdmundsonJeff Petry

Jon MerrillErik Gustafsson

Carey Price

Jake Allen

scratched: Brett Kulak, Alexander Romanov, Tomas Tatarse, Michael Frolik, Alex Belzile, Xavier Ouellet, Cayden Primeau, Cale Fleury, Charlie Lindgren, Lukas Vejdemo, Laurent Dauphin, Jesse Ylonen, Otto Leskinen, Michael McNiven

Injured: Jake Evans (concussion)

Status Report

No lineup changes are expected for Montreal.



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