Friday's NHL playoffs: Canadiens beat Golden Knights 3-2 in OT to take 2-1 lead
Montreal — Josh Anderson scored his second goal of the night at 12:53 of overtime, Carey Price made 43 saves and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Friday night to a take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup semifinal series.
Anderson scored after he knocked down an aerial pass at the offensive blue line. The puck fell to Paul Byron, who passed back to Anderson for his third goal of the playoffs, sending the Bell Centre into a chaotic celebration.
Cole Caufield also scored to help Montreal win without interim head coach Dominique Ducharme. He tested positive for COVID-19 before the game.
Luke Richardson took over behind and directed the Canadiens to their fourth overtime victory in these playoffs.
Nicolas Roy and Alex Pietrangelo scored for Vegas, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Montreal.
After the Golden Knights killed off a penalty to start the third, Pietrangelo fired his fourth goal of the playoffs — and third in the last two games — under Price’s blocker from the high slot on an odd-man rush at 2:22.
The Montreal goaltender kept his team within striking distance a few minutes later, robbing Alex Tuch with a terrific pad stop on a 2-on-1 with former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty before Corey Perry came close at the other end.
Fleury then made another stop on Tyler Toffoli with five minutes left, but misplayed the puck behind his net and gifted Anderson the tying goal with 1:55 remaining.
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Canadiens coach Ducharme tests positive for coronavirus
Montreal — Montreal Canadiens interim coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss at least Game 3 of his team's semifinal series against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.
The NHL said Ducharme received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test nine days since receiving his second vaccine dose. No other Canadiens players or members of the Vegas Golden Knights have tested positive.
Ducharme isolated immediately and Game 3 scheduled for Friday night in Montreal is set to be played as scheduled. General manager Marc Bergevin said he doesn’t know how long Ducharme will be out.
“I’ve talked to Dom twice today — he’s doing fine," Bergevin said. “He’s at home. As far as how long he’s going to be out, we’re dealing with and talking to Health Quebec and also NHL protocols. It’s an ongoing situation, so I can’t tell you how long.”
Assistant Luke Richardson will run Montreal’s bench in Game 3 with assistants Alex Burrows and Sean Burke.
“As of this morning, (Ducharme) was in contact with our coaches,” Bergevin said in French. "He prepared the game plan. And I would say he won’t be in contact between periods, but he’ll definitely be in touch after the game and he’ll prepare the plans for Game 4. He’s at home, but he’s implicated with everything that’s going to happen and the game plan for now.”
The Canadiens and Golden Knights are tied in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup semifinal series after Montreal earned a split at Vegas with a 3-2 win in Game 2.
Ducharme was promoted to interim head coach from assistant after the firing of Claude Julien on Feb. 24. Julien missed time during the 2020 playoffs last summer after being hospitalized with chest pains.
“I don’t see any connection between the two," Bergevin said Friday. “Circumstances are pretty different. But I can guarantee that we’ll be ready.”
Under Ducharme, the Canadiens finished fourth in the all-Canadian North Division and upset Toronto and Winnipeg in the first two playoff rounds.
The Golden Knights have already seen this scenario play out in this postseason. Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar missed a morning skate because of a COVID-19 testing irregularity. He was then cleared to coach in Game 6 of the second-round series against Vegas.
Panthers' Barkov wins Selke Trophy as best defensive forward
Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward for the first time in his eight-year career.
Barkov was announced as the winner of the award Friday night before Vegas faced Montreal in Game 3 of one semifinal series. He was a finalist for the first time.
The 25-year-old Finn became just the fifth player in league history to win both the Selke and the Lady Byng for gentlemanly conduct. He won the Lady Byng in 2019.
Barkov ranked ninth among forwards averaging just under 21 minutes a game and was 10th in the league with a winning percentage of 54.9 on faceoffs.
Boston center Patrice Bergeron and Vegas winger Mark Stone were the other finalists for the Selke, which is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez offered his endorsement of Stone after the team’s morning skate Friday.
“He’s just a really, really smart, complete player,” Martinez said of Stone. “He’s always picking off passes, knocking down passes, stripping guys — things like that. He’s a 200-foot player.”
So is Barkov, who helped Florida improve its team defense, allowing a half a goal a game less than last season, and also put up 58 points in 50 games. The Panthers lost to defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in six games in the first round. Barkov had seven points in that series.