UPDATE: The Golden Knights defeated the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals, 4-1. Game 2 will be on Wednesday night at the Fortress.
Original story continues below:
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Golden Knights are back in the final four of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third time in four years, with Game 1 against Montreal Monday night.
The Golden Knights beat out the Wild in seven games, and clawed back against Colorado winning four straight, taking the second round series in Game 6. Montreal meanwhile, took out top-seeded Toronto in seven games, and then followed it up with a four-game sweep of Winnipeg.
"We've spent a lot of time watching them, particularly in the playoffs," said Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer. "I think that's when they found their identity and there systems under their new coach seem to be more seamless, that's all you can do. I'll be honest with you, a lot of this is about our game, we want to translate a lot of the things we did well to beat a really tough Minnesota team, and a really tough Colorado team into this series."
Montreal will be the first Canadian team to play as a visitor in the United States in 460 days, and they will also be skating in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd for the first time since the pandemic.
"Special nights," said DeBoer. "Particularity since we hadn't eliminated a team on home ice going into this season, to have three of those type, electric nights in the last three weeks is great and another one tonight with Game 1 of the Conference Final, you can't compare that to the bubble."
For the past few days, the Golden Knights have said the Canadiens play a similar style to that of Minnesota, who Vegas played in the first round. However, they admit the biggest difference is the guy in goal; Carey Price.
"He's one of the best goaltenders in the league, has been for several years now," said Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch. "He's going to be a challenge, but we're up for the challenge. We're going to try and score as many goals as possible against him, but like I said he's one of the best goaltenders in the league right now. On our side we have one of the best goaltenders in the league too, they're going to have as a big a challenge as we are, but we have to get pucks and bodies to the net and make him uncomfortable all night long."
"They're playing good hockey, coming off some real good series. We have to make sure our game is ready for them," said Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore. "It's going to be different, but I think sometimes a change of scenery is also good."
The Golden Knights had two consecutive days of practice at City National Arena, a rarity in 2021. With the return of Tomas Nosek on Sunday, the VGK are the healthiest they have been nearly all year.
"The extra time is great," said DeBoer. "You're always worried, I watched the first game of the Tampa series last night at home, I thought they were a little flat in game one, coming off their series. We want to try and avoid that and hopefully we will, hopefully we won't fall into that trap."