• Reuters


The Montreal Canadiens have authored a trio of upsets already in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but don't for a second believe they are content to bask in that achievement.

Artturi Lehkonen scored in overtime and the Canadiens punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993 with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

The Canadiens — who posted the lowest point total among the 16 squads that reached the playoffs — celebrated the win, but know their job is not complete.

"We've been believing this whole time," Montreal goaltender Carey Price said. "Obviously, we're ecstatic and we have a lot of work to do.

"It's been a big progression. That first round (against the Toronto Maple Leafs), we started to click when we got down, but after we won that first game, we felt like we were playing solid hockey, and like any playoff story, it's a progression, luck and hard work."

Montreal, the first Canadian team to reach the Stanley Cup Final since the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, will face the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning-New York Islanders series, which will be decided in Game 7 on Friday.

Either the Lightning or Islanders will host the first two games of the final series, which will begin on Monday.

After a clutch OT save by Price, Lehkonen joined a rush up ice and converted a pass from Phillip Danault for his first goal of the series 99 seconds into the extra period.

Shea Weber and Cole Caufield also scored in the win. Price made 37 saves for the Canadiens.

Reilly Smith and Alec Martinez replied for the Golden Knights, who finished tied atop the league standings in the regular season. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots in the loss.

Weber's power-play goal opened the scoring at the 14:06 mark of the first period. Martinez's stick broke as he tried to clear the puck, sending it right to Weber, and the Montreal captain unloaded a rocket from the top of the left circle for his first goal of the playoffs.

Smith evened the score 48 seconds later when he gained the puck during a scrum, sent it to the point and then deflected Shea Theodore's shot to snap a nine-game goal drought.

Caufield put the Canadiens ahead a second time just before the midway point of the second period. He gained a step on defender Brayden McNabb and lifted a shot from in tight to score his fourth goal of the series.

Martinez cashed in a rebound from the doorstep just 68 seconds into the third period, pulling the visitors even with his fourth goal of the playoffs.

The Canadiens have won five of six games that have gone to overtime during the postseason.

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