The Vegas Golden Knights looked poised to control the series after a decisive 4-1 Game One victory. However, the Montreal Canadiens played great across the board and won Game Two with a 3-2 victory. The Golden Knights are regarded as a better team by many experts but the Canadiens have proven that they can match up with them and potentially pull the upset. The two teams will now head to Montreal for the next two games and the home-ice advantage can heavily favor the Canadiens who are hoping to pull the upset.
Golden Knights defensemen are leading the wayThe Golden Knights have played great in every facet of the game in the regular season with the playoff being no exception. The part of their game that has put the team over the top has been their defensemen, who are making a great impact on both ends of the ice. The play from the point has put the offense over the top with Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez scoring 3 goals each in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and combining for 9 assists. The play from the defensemen has also allowed forwards to find open shots near the net with Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone combining for 11 goals in the playoffs.
In addition to the great play on the offensive end of the ice, the defensemen have been incredible at creating turnovers and blocking shots near the net. Martinez, Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore along with Zach Whitecloud have made it difficult to establish an offensive presence while creating odd-man rushes the other way. Aside from the defensemen, the Golden Knights have seen their forwards also create turnovers on the defensive end of the ice with Mark Stone leading the way. In addition, Marc-Andre Fleury has been a dominant goaltender, saving .923 percent of shots while allowing only 1.9 goals per game.
Canadiens goaltender is world-classThe Canadiens have been led throughout the playoffs by their goaltender Carey Price, who has been allowing only 2.1 goals per game and is saving .930 percent of shots. In the recent victory, Price saved 29 of 31 shots and made some saves that looked like sure goals for the Golden Knights. Aside from Carey Price continuing to play great, the Canadiens defense got a great boost from Jeff Petry returning to the lineup who helped the defense create turnovers throughout the game and eliminate the Vegas offense.
While Carey price has been dominant to help the defense, the offense has gotten a great boost from the depth on their offense. Tyler Toffoli and Joel Armia have scored 5 goals each to lead the team while 21-year-old Nick Suzuki and 20-year-old Jesperi Kotkaniemi have combined for 8 goals in the Stanely Cup Playoffs. In addition, the Canadiens have been better in the offensive end with their puck distribution with five of their skaters adding 5 assists or more to the offense.