Tri-City Americans legend Carey Price advances to first Stanley Cup Finals

Tri-City Americans legend Carey Price advances to first Stanley Cup Finals
Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) tries to deflect a shot past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during the second period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Thursday, June 24, 2021 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL — Led by a stellar performance from Tri-City Americans alum Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens are heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. This will be Price’s first time competing in the championship round at the highest level of his craft.

Price was stellar for the Canadiens, giving up only two goals on 39 shot attempts for a save percentage of 94.9%. His commanding presence protecting the goal was crucial in pushing the game into overtime, where Artturi Lehkonen scored a game-winning goal just under two minutes in the extra period.

It took Montreal only six games to take down the Las Vegas Golden Knights in a series that Price largely dominated. Based on these two teams’ regular-season records —the Canadiens won 16 fewer games than the Golden Knights this year—Las Vegas was favored to emerge. However, Price’s decisive 93.2% save percentage in the series was the key to overcoming a Golden Knights group that averaged the third-most goals of any team in the regular season.

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By this point, Price has established himself as a serious playoff performer. Two years in a row, he’s elevated his play when the pressure is strongest; increasing his save percentage and making spectacular plays when his team needed it most.

Back in 2003, Price made his professional hockey debut for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL in Kennewick. That was the first of five seasons in the Tri-Cities, where he asserted himself as one of the greatest athletes to establish roots in the area. Price’s wife, Angela, is a Kennewick-native; and the two were married in Benton County.

In 2007, Price won the Del Wilson Trophy, which is the WHL’s award for the league’s best goaltender. The next year, he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. Now, Price is the winningest goaltender in Canadiens history.

Fans from throughout Southeastern Washington will cheer Price on as he takes the ice for the first Stanley Cup Finals of his 14-year NHL career. Montreal will face the winner of Friday night’s Game 7 showdown between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightening.

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