Carey Price delivered a phenomenal performance in Game 3 against the Vegas Golden Knights, and despite a timid offensive performance, Josh Anderson scored in overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win on Friday night in Montreal.
The goalkeeper turned away no less than 43 pucks, while his team only shot 27 times at the visitors’ net, who were greeted by 3,500 noisy spectators. They have also reserved a very hostile reception to the former captain Max Pacioretty.
With a tie 2-2, Anderson settled the debate in overtime with a superb pass from Paul Byron. Overtime had also been forced by the hero of the day, who had taken advantage of a huge blunder by Marc-André Fleury behind his net to blow up the Bell Center, while there were less than two minutes left on the clock.
Price stood up like a wall against repeated assaults from the Golden Knights in the first period. After 20 minutes, they had strafed the British Columbian with 16 shots, while the CH had only directed three towards Fleury.
It will take a mistake from Eric Staal for the Knights to finally solve the Price puzzle. In a fight for the puck behind his net, the veteran handed the puck directly to Nicolas Roy, who was quick to beat the Habs keeper.
The Canadian’s reply took only 38 seconds to orchestrate. Taking advantage of a precise pass from Nick Suzuki to the blue line, Caufield quickly scrambled to sow his roofers before beating Marc-André Fleury with a good shot.
Caufield has collected a point in his last five games, which means he can make history by getting one in the next meeting. He would indeed become the third CH rookie player to register for the scoresheet in six straight games, joining Shayne Corson (1987) and Howie Morenz (1924).
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, already with his third success of the series, had placed Vegas in front at the start of the third period.
The work of the referees was very criticized in this meeting. The Canadiens’ players suffered dubious penalties and an equally dubious bodycheck against Brayden McNabb’s side was not punished in the second period.
Remember also that the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge was playing this duel without its interim head coach, Dominique Ducharme, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.
With a 2 to 1 lead in this semi-final series, the Canadian will have the opportunity to win a third consecutive game on Sunday, once again at the Bell Center.