Open Thread: June 19th

Montreal pushes ahead

Last Night’s Game:

Montreal Canadiens 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (OT), MTL Leads Series 2-1

At the outset of this series, most pundits had the Golden Knights rolling over the Habs with relative ease. Vegas had, after all, just finished disposing of Colorado in impressive fashion and possess a much stronger line-up than the Canadiens. For Montreal to keep  this series competitive, they would likely need Carey Price to be spectacular and for their forwards to be opportunistic. Last night, they followed that blueprint to a T; Vegas was largely the better team, shots were 30-8 for the Golden Knights through two, but Montreal never trailed by more than one and Price was absolutely electric.

But while Vegas was never able to open real breathing room, they still were ahead 2-1 with less than two minutes to go and it felt like they were on their way to a tighter-than-expected but nonetheless well-deserved victory. That’s when Marc-Andre Fleury did this:

That’s a big ol’ Yikes. Remember what I was saying about keeping the game close enough to be opportunistic? Well thanks for that tally, the game was going to overtime. And as we well know in OT, anything can happen:

Vegas has been the better team through three games, but they also trail 2-1 in the series and the Habs are no patsies. Plus, they’ve got a decided edge in the one place it matters most: in nets. If I’m a Golden Knights fan, I’m feeling realllllly tight right about now.

Tonight’s Game:

Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Islanders, TBL Leads Series 2-1, 8PM ET

The Isles have proven to be a dangerous foe for the defending champion Bolts but if it’s hard to see them coming all the way back if they go down 3-1 to Tampa Bay. To make the road back potentially harder Jean-Gabriel Pageau was seemingly injured at the end of the last game and though Barry Trotz has said he will be available he might also be limited. For a team that’s already struggling to generate offense in the series, losing Pageau would be a devastating blow. For Tampa Bay, they would love to have the opportunity to finish off the Isles at home in the next game because going back to Florida tied at 2-2 does not sound like a whole lot of fun.

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