Josh Anderson, who scored on Fleury’s misplay behind the net to tie the game with less than two minutes left in the third period, also scored in overtime for a 3-2 victory that gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup semifinals.
The Canadiens won Game 3 without head coach Dominique Ducharme, who had a positive COVID-19 test confirmed hours before the game. Assistant coach Luke Richardson ran the bench in his absence.
The Golden Knights outshot the Canadiens 45-27, but Price kept Montreal in the game, allowing only goals by Nicolas Roy and by Alex Pietrangelo, his third goal in two games.
Vegas appeared poised for the win, but Fleury misplayed his puck behind the net and it bounced off his skate out front to a wide-open Anderson, who tapped it in.
“It’s just an unfortunate bounce,” Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said. “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Fleury, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy and a key reason that the Golden Knights have reached the third round, slammed his stick in frustration.
The goal was Anderson’s first since the playoff opener, ending a 12-game drought.
Then he scored in overtime on a skilled play, knocking down the puck to create a 2-on-0 break with Paul Byron for a goal at 12:53.
“Fleury’s played great for us all year. That’s one mistake,” Stone said of the third-period goal. “We had to bail him out and we did not play the way we did for the first 60 minutes in the overtime.”
The Canadiens, the last team to clinch a playoff spot, upset the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets in the first two rounds and now lead the Golden Knights, who finished 23 points ahead of them in the standings.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Montreal.
Missed call on bloody face
Canadiens forward Corey Perry missed Anderson’s winning goal because we was high-sticked in overtime by Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault and had to go to the dressing room with a cut nose.
No penalty was called on the play, but it all worked out for the Canadiens. And Perry came out to congratulate his team after thevictory.
Canadiens coach addresses team
Though Ducharme missed Game 3 after a positive COVID-19 test, he did hold a Zoom meeting with the team beforehand and talked to them afterward.
“I feel like we’ve always responded well to adversity, and tonight was just another example,” Price said. “Not having Dom behind the bench is just another twist we had to deal with.”
General manager Marc Bergevin said Ducharme is doing well, and the team doesn’t know how long he’ll be out.
Ducharme had to pack up and go home before Friday’s practice when his initial test showed a presumptive positive. Richardson was named interim coach and director of goaltending Sean Burke went behind the bench to oversee the defense.
“Things went fast and maybe that’s better off,” said Richardson, who picked up his first NHL win. “We didn’t have much time to think about it. We were just running things the way Dom runs it here. Business as usual.”
One of the reasons the Canadiens were able to win was the play of Price, who had 43 saves.
“It was incredible, not only to watch him play like that, but for the fans, too,” Anderson said. “He kept us in the game all game and we would not be sitting here talking about this (win) without him.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marc-Andre Fleury mistake helps Canadiens top Golden Knights