NHL

Canadiens always 'believed' after reaching first Stanley Cup Final since 1993 thanks OT win

By Sports Desk June 24, 2021

Artturi Lehkonen's overtime goal against the Vegas Golden Knights propelled the Montreal Canadiens to their first NHL Stanley Cup Final since 1993 on Thursday.

The Canadiens ended their 28-year wait, punching their ticket to the NHL's showpiece thanks to Lehkonen's goal less than two minutes into OT in Game 6 of the semi-final series.

Just like Tyler Toffoli against the Winnipeg Jets in overtime, Lehkonen scored 99 seconds into OT to oust the Golden Knights. According to Stats Perform, the Canadiens are the first team in NHL history to score two overtime goals at the exact same time in a single postseason.

Not much was expected of the Canadiens in the NHL playoffs, having entered the postseason with the worst record but Montreal have won 11 of 13 games since sensationally overturning a 3-1 deficit against rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

The Canadiens – 24-time champions as they make their NHL-leading 35th Stanley Cup Final appearance – will face either defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Islanders.

"We wouldn't be here right now if we didn't believe," said Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who stopped 37 shots. "We've believed this whole time and obviously we're ecstatic and we have a lot of work left to do."

Lehkonen added: "Just trying to go high and hit the net. We're trying to keep it going one game at a time and not think things too much far ahead.

"I feel like we showed up today and it's a big win for us and we have four more to go."

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