Shea Theodore scored once and added an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinal series at TMobile Arena Monday night.
In fact, three of Vegas’ four goals were by defensemen, with Alec Martinez and Nick Holden finding the goal column as well. Mattias Janmark was the lone forward on the board.
Both goaltenders were fantastic in the game, although as the score indicates Marc-Andre Fleury was better, making 28 saves for his 90th career playoff win. Carey Price finished with 26 saves.
- Vegas did a tremendous job with its diagonal and east/west passes tonight. Even though not every chance found the back of the net thanks to awesome stops by Price, the Golden Knights really set up glorious chances all game long by knifing the puck through the box. Nick Holden’s goal was a prime example. If Montreal doesn’t cut off those passes it’s going to be a long series for Price.
- With three of the four goals coming from defensemen, Vegas took some of the scoring weight off its top-line guys. Not that they didn’t have scoring chances in the top six, but to have a game where they don’t have to produce really means a lot and also forces Montreal to have to worry about more scoring options.
- Shea Theodore in particular has been quiet offensively these playoffs, but he made some noise tonight. Theodore more than gets a pass thanks to how hard he’s worked on rounding out his game. To get him back on the sheet is massive for the VGK.
- Cole Caulfield scored the first playoff goal of his career tonight. He’s going to be a really good player in this league for a long time. The Canadiens have had to score by committee, and if they get him rolling that’s another big bonus.
- Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price put together a week’s worth of highlight-reel saves tonight. Price, in particular, had to be at his acrobatic best more than a few times because of his defense slipping in front of him. One particular robbery elicited a wry grin from Mark Stone and a wink in reply from Price. This will be the featured matchup of the series.