LAS VEGAS – Carey Price made 29 saves and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Wednesday night to tie the Stanley Cup semifinal series at a game apiece.
Price improved to 9-4 in the playoffs, his most victories in a postseason. He had eight in 2014.
Paul Byron, Joel Armia and Tyler Toffoli scored for Montreal, with Bryon making it 3-0 with 2:45 left in the second period.
Alex Pietrangelo scored twice for Vegas, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves.
Game 3 is Friday night in Montreal.
Montreal has now won 21 straight playoff games when scoring three or more goals.
Abandoning the rugged approach they took in Game 1, the Canadiens looked more like the team that reeled off seven straight wins in the first and second rounds, dominating in all three zones in the first 20 minutes.
With Vegas missing top-line center Chandler Stephenson, and third-line center Nick Roy skating in his place, Montreal had the advantage in shots-on-goal (12-4), shot attempts (24-13), scoring chances (14-4), and high-danger chances (8-1).
Armia got the scoring going after he crunched Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez into the end boards behind Fleury, allowing Corey Perry to gather the puck and feed Joel Edmundson in the right circle. Edmundson fired a shot that deflected back to Armia, who one-timed it past Fleury’s right skate.
Jeff Petry made his presence felt in his first game back after missing Montreal’s last two. He played give-and-go with Cole Caufield, who opted to pass across the slot rather than fire on net and found Toffoli, who one-timed a snapper through Fleury’s five-hole to not only push the Canadiens’ lead to 2-0 but extend Montreal’s first-period scoring edge in the playoffs to 12-3.
Vegas continued to be its own worst enemy in the second period, as Max Pacioretty clanked a breakaway shot off the bottom of the right post. Then during a power play, Alec Martinez broke his stick while teeing off on a shot to Price’s left, and moments later it was Pacioretty whiffing on a shot at the doorstep.
Vegas was finally able to solve Price when Pietrangelo held the puck at the blueline long enough to find a right lane to the net, bringing the deficit back down to two goals late in the second.
Vegas cut the lead to one with a little more than five minutes left in the game when William Karlsson won a faceoff to the right of Price, Jonathan Marchessault gathered the puck and fed Pietrangelo, whose wrist shot from the circle gave him his second goal of the night.
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