Canadiens push Golden Knights to brink in Semifinals with Game 5 win


LAS VEGAS — The Montreal Canadiens took the lead in the Stanley Cup Semifinals with a 4-1 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday.

Nick Suzuki had a goal and two assists, and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens, who are one win from their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 1993. Carey Price made 26 saves.

Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in his return to the Vegas net after Robin Lehner made 27 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 4 on Sunday.

Game 6 is at Montreal on Thursday. Teams that take a 3-2 lead are 47-15 (.758) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff semifinals series.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 8:45 of the first period. Fleury made the save against Josh Anderson‘s backhand on a breakaway, but Kotkaniemi scored into an open net on the rebound.

Eric Staal made it 2-0 at 6:32 of the second period after receiving a cross-ice pass from Suzuki.

Caufield extended the lead to 3-0 on the power play at 9:49. Suzuki forced a turnover in the neutral zone, leading to a 2-on-1, and Caufield scored his third goal of the series with a one-timer off a pass from Corey Perry.

Pacioretty cut it to 3-1 at 4:09 of the third period on a wrist shot from the slot. It was the first goal from a top-six forward for Vegas in the series.

Suzuki scored into an empty net with 1:06 remaining for the 4-1 final.

It was the third straight game the Canadiens were coached by Luke Richardson since coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

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