The Vegas Golden Knights have four players who were born in Quebec, including goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury. Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center on Friday is sure to be a special one, even if there aren’t as many fans in the stands as in Vegas.
In the other Stanley Cup semifinals series, the Tampa Bay Lightning achieved a decisive victory in Game 3 against the New York Islanders on Thursday.
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Game on Friday
Game 3: Vegas Golden Knights at Montreal Canadiens | 8:00 p.m. ET (Series 1-1)
Chandler Stephenson, center of the Golden Knights, suffers from an upper body injury every day as coach Pete DeBoer refused to reveal his status for Game 3 after his surprising scratch in Game 2. Nicolas Roy switched between Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty Game 2 at the start, but Keegan Kolesar took over and played well with them the rest of the way. If Stephenson can’t leave, it’ll be a blow to one of the team’s key scoring lines.
The challenge for Vegas in Game 3: First Goal as Montreal is 9-1. In general, the Knights must solve Carey Price. “He’s an elite goalkeeper, but he’s only part of their team and their identity,” said DeBoer.
Because of last night
Tampa Bay Lightning 2, New York Islanders 1 (Lightning Lead 2-1)
As great as the Islanders can be defensive, the Lightning have no problem keeping the puck out of their net, especially on the road where they averaged 1.71 goals in the postseason. That defense took control on their Game 3 win, when goals from Yanni Gourde and Brayden Point put the Lightning into a series lead. The Islanders didn’t get a shot on goal after pulling goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov.
“We’ve been on this journey before. We need people in big moments, they show up. They’ve learned over the years: get the lead, protect the lead, build the lead,” said Tampa coach Jon Cooper. Well, two out of three aren’t bad. Complete summary
Three stars of the night
1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning
The goalkeeper made 27 saves to secure a huge away win for the Bolts in the rugged Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders had a 14-5 lead on 5v5 in Game 3 with highly dangerous odds, and aside from a mistake in his defense, Vasilevskiy finished them off.
2. Brayden Point, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
Point has 65 points in 58 playoff games and has averaged 0.57 goals per game in its postseason career. That’s the seventh-highest value in NHL history for at least 30 games played. In context, he’s 0.02 points per game behind Wayne Gretzky.
3. Semyon Varlamov, G, New York Islanders
Varlamov made 23 saves in defeat and confidently stopped some good Lightning chances to keep the ball.
quote of the Day
📦 PENALTY: #Isles’ Pelech is off due to a malfunction #GoBolts go into the power play just over 2 minutes before the end of the second half pic.twitter.com/o0PlDFuCWv
– (@faiello_mari) June 18, 2021
“When I look at it, I thought that there isn’t much at all. You have to fight your way through these things.”
– Islander coach Barry Despite this interference from Adam Pelech in the second period. The Lightning scored the game winner right after the end of their subsequent power play.
Unnecessary help of the day
Clutterbuck will get credit here, but Cernak pic.twitter.com/IlyLIBO2Zs
– Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 18, 2021
Lightning defender Erik Cernak tried to help his goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy by pushing the puck so he could freeze it. Instead, he helped enable the islanders only goal of the game to be scored by Cal Clutterbuck. Oops.
Cruel irony of the day
Can Brayden be stopped at this point? #Stanley cup
: https://t.co/UGSHbZzqto @NHLonNBCSports
: https://t.co/DmbMZkvNsi @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/4rw8ksaS2E
– NHL (@NHL) June 18, 2021
Remember in Game 2 when an Islanders defender checked Brayden Point against Semyon Varlamov and Point somehow got a goalkeeping penalty and then the Islanders scored on the following power play? Well, in Game 3, a defender for the Islanders Anthony Cirelli checked in Varlamov, while Point – who himself was in the middle of a countercheck! – Scored the second goal of the game for Tampa. The Hockey Gods love to troll us like that.
Islanders fan of the day
We love having @JimmyFallon and @RalphMacchio at Coli tonight! pic.twitter.com/D9djJ6brZT
– New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 18, 2021
Jimmy Fallon was at the game to cheer the Islanders on, but oddly enough, he left all of his other New York hockey equipment at home.