Shia Theodore broke a scoreless tie in the third period, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in the Vancouver Cancర్s on Friday night, knocking out the last Canadian team from the NHL playoffs.
Alex Tuch and Paul Stastney score in the seventh and decisive game of the Western Conference semifinals into the empty net.
Will play the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final.
Robin Lehner, who made his 12th debut in the playoffs, improved his 14-save shutout victory to 8-4 for Vegas.
In the third game in a row of puck-stopping heroics, he put Denco Canucks in a game that beat Vancouver 36-14.
See | Theodore’s final marker helps to pick up the Golden Knights Connex:
Vegas took a 3-1 lead in the series before Denko relieved injured starter Jacob Markstrom in Game 5. In the next two games he stopped 90 off 91 shots, stoning the Golden Knights, to give Vancouver a 2-1 victory. Draw the series 4-0.
This is the same script for most games: Vegas dominates the Canucks, running on their own end when fired after a shot, many of which are blocked or missed. When they find their mark, Demco speeds up the puck through traffic or flies a pad to stop it.
Vegas had 21 shots in the first two seasons, while Vancouver had six.
Lehner was so hungry for work that by the end of a TV time he had skated to the blue line and stretched his leg to stay upright.
Vancouver had four shots in the second period, but the highlight came from Save Lehner, who shone his glove to knock down a Brock Bozer shot in the wide open net in two-one.
See | Lehnerboser was stoned to make it 0-0:
Vegas winger Ryan Reeves was given the game misconduct late in the second after being given a shoulder-to-chin hit on Tyler Mote.
The victory avoided a deadly deja vu for the Golden Knights.
After advancing to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural 2018 season, Vegas took a 3-1 lead over the San Jose Sharks in the first playoff round last year.
Theodore scored two goals and seven assists against Vancouver. Mark Stone led all Vegas forwards with two goals and seven points in the series.
Golden Knights 39-24-8, seventh overall, was the normal season due to the spread of COVID-19 when the NHL stopped and was subsequently canceled. Connex ranked 36-27-6, 18th overall.
See | Reeves game earns misconduct for a high hit on Mote:
All games in the Western Conference playoffs were played without spectators at Rogers Place. Players are separated between so-called bubble competitions to avoid hesitation to COVID-19.
Despite the loss, the playoffs are one step ahead for the Canucks.
Vancouver has not been in the playoffs since 2015. They beat the Wild in the qualifying round this year, and then recorded their first playoff series victory since 2011, sending the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues into six games.
Their last playoff victory was in 2011 against the San Jose Sharks in the Final-Four Series. Vancouver lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final that year.
Half of the list now includes 17 games of experience, including bounce-back performances and elimination games, including key performers such as Markstrom, Denko, Elias Peterson, Boer, and Quinn Hughes.
Their best players in the post-season t their best players: Peterson scored seven goals and 18 points. Bo Horwatt scored 10, and JT Miller scored one goal and seven assists against Vegas.
They also know that they have two prime time goals as Markstrom becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Meanwhile, the rear view of Canada’s last Stanley Cup history continues to get even smaller and smaller in the mirror.
No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadians defeated the Los Angeles Kings in June 1993.