The Montreal Canadiens’ rich history did not mean much when it came to facing upstart Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.
Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist, Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and the Knights beat the Canadiens 4-1 in the first game of the Stanley Cup semi-final.
Vegas’ fifth-straight victory in the playoffs ended Montreal’s post-season win streak at seven. Game 2 is tonight.
Theodore’s first-period goal gave Vegas a 1-0 lead and marked the first time the Canadiens trailed in a span of 437 minutes and 53 seconds, the NHL’s second-longest playoff run.
“The first goal was huge, and at the right time, too, in the first period for us with how we were playing,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “Gave us a little bit of an opportunity to take a deep breath and kind of gather ourselves and find our game. Thankfully [Fleury] was our best player, gave us a chance to get our legs, and then I really liked our game in the second and third.”
Fleury, whose 90th career playoff win leaves him two shy of tying Grant Fuhr for third place all-time, has now allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 13 playoff appearances this season.
Alec Martinez, Mattias Janmark and Nick Holden also scored for the Golden Knights, who were vividly fueled by an announced crowd of 17,884 glow-stick-waving fans.
The goals from Theodore, Martinez and Holden marked the first time this postseason a team got three goals from defensemen in a single game.
“We talked about making sure the [defensemen] were getting up in the play to make sure we had good gaps if pucks were turned over, but ended up being that we were able to jump and get some pucks, and obviously score some goals and make some plays,” Holden said. “That’s always big when you can get contributions from different places.”
Rookie Cole Caufield scored his first career playoff goal for Montreal, while goaltender Carey Price made 26 saves.
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed
Four key men’s doubles pairings — dubbed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as “the group of death” — are to take over two courts side-by-side today just after midday in Tokyo, in matches that already have the badminton world abuzz. What is formally known as Group A pits pairings from Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Britain against one another — the former three ranked in the top 10. Taiwanese pairing Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin are set to challenge Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of India, while world No. 1 duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia are to
After complaining about flying economy class to the Olympic Games, Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying appeared satisfied with her hotel room in Tokyo, praising its proximity to the badminton venue. “It saves commuting time and allows more time to rest,” the 27-year-old Tai wrote on Instagram yesterday morning. “It’s very good.” The Athletes’ Village is about 50 minutes by car from the badminton venue, but the hotel is only a 10-minute drive, she said. “It’ll give me more time to rest and prepare, whether before or after a match,” Tai added. Taiwan’s badminton team is staying at the Marroad Inn Tokyo in Chofu City,
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying said that she will have to cut out the mistakes if she is to make an impact at the Tokyo Olympics and will only begin to think about the threat posed by China’s Chen Yufei if they both make the final of the women’s singles. World No. 1 Tai looked good in winning the opening game of her first match against Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet 21-7, but was less tidy in the second, allowing her opponent, ranked 45 places below her, to pick up 13 points before Tai secured the win. “I need to reduce the number of mistakes I