In the NHL playoffs, championship caliber teams put together many small moments that ultimately end up accumulating into the biggest moment of them all, winning the Stanley Cup. The Vegas Golden Knights have now broken into the next round of their journey to the sports most prestigious award, by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 and winning the series 4-2.
Now about those moments, one might wonder have the Golden Knights really faced that much adversity? The answer would be yes, just take a look back on this series alone.
Trailing in the series 2-0, to then tie it up at 2-2, then go down 2-0 in game five in Denver, to ultimately come back and win 3-2 in overtime. To then finally, being on home ice in game six, to give up the first goal which they have all series, only to come back and win the whole thing 6-3.
When the smoke settles on however this postseason plays out, the run the Vegas Golden Knights have been on will be filled with these defining moments. That hopefully for the Knights, leads them to their first Stanley Cup.
As for the game six breakdown, let’s get right into it.
Vegas had trailed in every single game heading into game six and 23 seconds into the game Devon Toews scored his first goal of the playoffs to give the Avalanche the lead. A ruckus Vegas crowd would be silenced but not for long.
A minute later, fellow defenseman Nick Holden scored his first goal of the playoffs, tying the game for Vegas by beating Phillip Grubauer between the legs. This brought the Vegas faithful right back into the game.
Strong shifts from the Vegas fourth-line was apparent tonight, Nicholas Roy was extremely productive in the first frame. The fourth-line trend would remain steady all night as after a shift, William Karlsson hopped on and was able to net a beautiful pass from Alec Martienez to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
Colorado would not go away easily, as in the second period Mikko Rantanen would tie the game at 2-2. The goal came off of the power-play, due to a delay of game call that had plagued the Knights in this period.
As the period dwindled away, the fourth-line for Vegas made another appearance, Keegan Koselar was able to regain the lead off of a shot that did not have too much on it, yet enough to take the lead 3-2.
Andre Burakovsky then had some space and beat Marc Andre-Fleury top shelf to tie the game. With 18 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Alex Pietranglo sent a blast that beat Grubauer to retake the lead.
To open the scoring in the third and final frame, the fourth-line for the Knights scored once again. William Carrier found himself in front of the net to send a tip pass to Grubauer.
From there the final gasp from Colorado was taken, as Max Pacoiretty fired a puck into the empty net to seal a 6-3 victory. The final breath on the Presidents trophy winners was taken and the Golden Knights live to battle another day.
What would usually be the Western Conference Final, the Vegas Golden Knights have advanced to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals. To play a team finally out of the Honda West Division, in the Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal has been a real treat to watch in these NHL playoffs, they have put together a fair share of special moments in their postseason run thus far as well. The Canadiens came back down 3-1 to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game seven, to then follow up with a four-game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.
This series will be the first time the Canadiens have played a hockey game outside of Canada in a full year. While usually the only way these two teams would meet up in the playoffs would be the Stanley Cup, they would create a beautifully chaotic moment in a series to advance to the final.
Game one is June 14th in Las Vegas.