Well, the one remaining team with almost zero negative history (or even positive history for that matter) was officially bounced from the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night, as the Montreal Canadiens punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 overtime Game 6 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
HABS ADVANCE TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS!!!!!!!— BobbyLotsOfNumbers (@TheReplayGuy) June 25, 2021
🚨 ARTTURI LEHKONEN 1OT WINNER
🎥 @USA_Network pic.twitter.com/4TnTZY5hUc
In what was an upset of epic proportions to most, the Canadiens knocked the Golden Knights out on the back of their penalty kill, too, which remained downright dominant throughout this series. Sent to the box 15 times in six games, the Habs posted a perfect 15-for-15 mark when down a man, and have actually killed off a simply absurd 30 straight trips to the box dating back to Game 5 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs (13 games).
It was also an awful series for Golden Knights captain Mark Stone, who went without a single point and was held to just seven total shots on goal throughout the series after scoring five goals and eight points through his first 13 postseason contests.
Vegas also struggled to find the perfect rotation in net, as the team turned to Robin Lehner following Marc-Andre Fleury’s puck-playing gaffe in Game 3 and then went back to Fleury for Game 5 (a loss) despite Lehner earning the victory in Game 4. The team then went back to Lehner for the must-win Game 6, and Lehner stopped 29 of 32 shots in the losing effort.
Montreal’s victory makes them the first Canadian team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final since the Vancouver Canucks made it the fourth round in 2011, and is the Habs’ first trip to hockey’s final stage since 1993. In case you’re wondering, Canadian clubs are on a five-Cup losing skid, with losses by the Canucks (1994), Flames (2004), Oilers (2006), Senators (2007), and Canucks (2011) since the Canadiens’ 1993 championship.
The Canadiens will take on the winner of Friday’s Game 7 between the Islanders and Lightning.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.