Golden Knights rally to tie series against Canadiens
Quebec native Nicolas Roy scored 1:18 into overtime as the Golden Knights battled back to defeat the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series.
Like most kids growing up near Montreal, Nicolas Roy dreamed of scoring a goal at Bell Centre.
To do it in the playoffs is memorable.
To do it with his family in attendance Sunday made it even more special for the native of Amos, Quebec.
Roy’s rebound goal 1:18 into overtime gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 victory over Montreal in Game 4 and new life in the Stanley Cup semifinals.
The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.
“It’s unbelievable,” Roy said. “It’s really nice to get the win for the boys. We battled back. It’s a big win.”
The Knights had their backs against the wall trailing the Canadiens 1-0 entering the third period but made a winner of goaltender Robin Lehner, who stopped 27 of 28 shots.
Lehner appeared in his second game of the postseason and outdueled Carey Price for his first victory since May 7.
Defenseman Brayden McNabb scored in the third period to help the Knights snap a two-game losing streak and regain home-ice advantage.
“We talked between the first and second about getting into the fight and the battle a little bit more as a group and finding a way,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “A lot of character in that room. That’s not the first time we’ve faced adversity and risen to the occasion.”
The Knights were held without a shot on goal for almost 10 minutes in the first period and failed to generate a high-danger chance through two periods against Montreal’s stingy defense. They finished with 21 shots on goal and had 35 attempts either blocked or miss the net.
But Lehner was sharp in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, whose miscue late in the third period of Game 3 led to the tying goal, and held the Knights close after Paul Byron scored on a breakaway with 1:05 left in the second period.
He made a handful of key stops in the third to keep the score 1-0, none more important than his breakaway save on Canadiens electric rookie Cole Caufield about seven minutes into the period.
“It’s a world-class player coming down,” Lehner said. “In the prescout, either he goes high or he goes five-hole. It looked like he was going five-hole, so I closed my legs.”
McNabb slipped in from the point and buried a pass from William Karlsson to tie the score 1-1 with 9:23 remaining in the third period.
In the overtime, former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty hopped on the ice to catch Montreal during a long shift and circled the net before throwing a shot in front.
The puck bounced to Roy standing at the top of the crease, and his first shot was stopped by Price. But he stuck with the rebound and flipped it over the fallen goalie for his second goal in two games and fourth of the playoffs.
“I heard from a couple of the guys up top that his parents were pretty happy about that, and that’s really cool to see because he’s a guy that sometimes flies under the radar but does so much for our club,” Pacioretty said. “To do it in your home province is special.”
Roy is the 11th Quebec-born player to score a playoff overtime goal against the Canadiens and third to do it in Montreal.
His parents were in attendance along with his sister and in-laws.
“I know they were really happy, and I know we wanted the win pretty bad there,” Roy said. “We battled back in the third, and we were ready for overtime. It’s a nice feeling, for sure.”
The Knights’ struggling power play was unable to capitalize late in the second period with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo hitting the post, and the Canadiens took the lead 11 seconds after Nick Suzuki left the penalty box.
Suzuki found Byron ahead of the pack, and he beat Lehner high with 1:05 left in the second period. Byron also scored on a breakaway in Game 2 for the game-winning goal.
“Our confidence comes from within the room,” Knights forward Alex Tuch said. “Going down 2-1 against the Habs, there were a lot of people that doubted our abilities going into the game tonight. And being down 1-0 after two periods just shows how resilient of a group we are, how no matter what’s going on we can block out the noise and keep pushing for a win.”
Contact David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.
Game 1: Knights 4, Canadiens 1
Game 2: Canadiens 3, Knights 2
Game 3: Canadiens 3, Knights 2, OT
Game 4: Knights 2, Canadiens 1, OT
Game 5: 6 p.m. Tuesday, T-Mobile Arena (NBCSN)
Game 6: 5 p.m. Thursday, Montreal (USA)
x-Game 7: 5 p.m. Saturday, T-Mobile Arena (NBCSN)