Game 7 in preparation for New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning – .

Game 7 in preparation for New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning – .

The Montreal Canadiens make it to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1993. Who will they face? We’ll all find out tonight, because we’ve got the two best words in hockey coming up: Game 7.
Check out the ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily to catch up on each playoff day until the Stanley Cup is handed out in July.

More: Playoff schedule | Central playoffs

Friday game

Game 7: New York Islanders take on Tampa Bay Lightning | 8 p.m. (series tied 3-3)

The Islanders – and their fans – gave it their all in Game 6. They may need more in Game 7. Tampa Bay has not lost a back-to-back playoff game since being swept away. the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019. In fact, the Lightning is 13-0 after a loss in the past two years.

The big intrigue for Tampa: will Nikita Kucherov play? The playoff points leader was injured in an unsolicited counter-failure early in his first quarter of Game 6 and did not return. The Lightning didn’t get an update on Thursday. “We played 56 games without [Kucherov] “Said coach Jon Cooper. “Usually we have 12 forwards when we play without him, which probably made it harder for us when we had 11. But we went down that route for four months. This is nothing new to us. “

The Isles receive a star from Mathew Barzal, who scored both New York goals in regulation in Game 6. “You come to a seventh game, you know what’s at stake,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “You play all year to get there. You have an opportunity. “

About last night

Montreal Canadiens 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Canadiens win 4-2)

The Canadians entered the playoffs with the worst record of any team on the field (0.527 point percentage). Caesars Sportsbook put Montreal at +3500 to win the Cup. “Honestly, we wouldn’t be here right now if we didn’t believe it,” said goaltender Carey Price. “We have always stayed true to this, without doubting ourselves. “

The Habs 1-3-1 system – especially Phillip Danault, Artturi Lehkonen and Brendan Gallagher’s stop line – stifled the Golden Knights’ offense, a key storyline throughout this series. So it seemed appropriate for Danault and Lehkonen to team up for the deciding goal of the series in overtime.

Vegas is now wondering what could have been. The Golden Knights have now gone into overtime facing elimination for the third straight season and have lost all three games. “It’s one of the best, if not the best team I’ve played with,” said defenseman Alec Martinez, who won two Stanley Cups with the Kings. “Being short is disappointing. “

It was a particularly tough streak for the Vegas (0-for-15) power play and captain Mark Stone, who had zero points. Stone said he was not playing injured. “I got skunky in that streak,” said the Vegas winger. “It can’t happen. I am the captain of this team. I am the leader of this team. I take a great deal of responsibility for what just happened. ” Full recap

Three stars of the night

Artturi Lehkonen, AG, Canadiens de Montréal

The gritty forward put in a great streak and took an assist from Phillip Danault in overtime to win the streak.

“This is the time of year when real playoff fighters come to life, and these two guys really turned out,” said interim coach Luke Richardson. “It was appropriate for our team, the way we played – we play hard defensively and try to do all the right things defensively – it was appropriate for them to get the winning goal. “

Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens

The goalie made 37 of 39 saves (0.949 save percentage) to help his team progress. The 33-year-old will now play his first Stanley Cup final. The price is 12-5, with a save percentage of .934 in these playoffs.

Cole Caufield, AD, Montreal Canadiens

What more can we say at this point about the Habs super rookie? He was a good scratch to start the playoffs, then scored four goals in the semi-final series, including another beauty in Game 6.

Post of the day on social networks

Robin Lehner is the rare professional athlete who is honest about his use of Twitter (he admitted to scrolling through fate before Game 4 for motivation). But social media doesn’t always have to be rooted in negativity. The goalkeeper, who made 29 saves, used his keyboard just minutes after the loss to express his gratitude.

The mood of the day

Phillip Danault has made a tradition of bringing pizza to a landmark press conference. Thursday, he shared.


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