The Vegas Golden Knights showed exactly why they're the favorite to win the Stanley Cup on Monday night, when they opened their semifinal series against the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-1 victory.
Now, the Golden Knights will look to take further control of the matchup in Wednesday's Game 2, which will also be held in Las Vegas. If Montreal can bounce back to even the series, though, it could take the momentum ahead of hosting Games 3 and 4.
After falling behind 2-0 in their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas has now won five consecutive games. This is the third time in its first four seasons as an NHL franchise that it has been among the final four postseason teams.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into Wednesday's Game 2 between Vegas and Montreal.
Game 2 Information
Date: Wednesday, June 16
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports app
Preview and Prediction
One of the reasons the Golden Knights are so difficult to beat is because of their balanced scoring attack. They had four different players score in Monday's Game 1 win over the Canadiens, and they scored at least once in all three periods.
Another reason? Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is capable of getting hot and leading the team's defense to a string of stellar performances. The 36-year-old had a strong showing in Game 1, as he recorded 28 saves and allowed only one goal.
Fleury hasn't allowed more than three goals in any of his 13 games this postseason, and he's given up two or fewer nine times. And he helped the Golden Knights potentially set the tone for the series with their Game 1 win over the Habs.
"He has been elite for us all year," Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said, per Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I thought the [first period] was a feeling-out process. Thankfully, [Fleury] was our best player and allowed us to get our legs."
It's important for the Golden Knights that the veteran has a strong series, because the Canadiens have made it this far as an underdog because of their play in the net. Carey Price is having a terrific postseason, recording 97 saves and allowing only six total goals during his team's second-round sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.
Yet, the Golden Knights found a way to score four goals against Price in the series opener, marking the fifth game in a row that they've scored at least three times. But the netminder is capable of bouncing back and helping his defense get back on track, so it will be crucial for Vegas to keep the pressure on.
Not only did Vegas continue its offensive roll in Game 1, but it also got three of its four goals from defensemen.
"That's always big when you can get contributions from different places," Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden said, per W.G. Ramirez of the Associated Press.
It also may be a sign that the team is going to keep generating offense, considering all the ways it can do so. So, it won't be surprising to see the Golden Knights win again in Game 2.
Vegas will stay hot and utilize its home-ice advantage to extend its lead over Montreal. Although the Canadiens won't go away quietly, they're not going to win a game in this series quite yet.
The Golden Knights will score multiple goals and get another strong performance from Fleury to win on Wednesday.
Prediction: Vegas takes 2-0 lead with Game 2 win