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Playoff Diaries - June 15, 2021

Golden Knights enjoy off day after Game 1 victory

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights /

The first song that come out of the speakers in the workout space at the Vegas Golden Knights' practice facility on Tuesday morning was "Small Town" by John Mellencamp.

It was the perfect song to be played by the team that represents one of the smaller markets in the NHL - though it didn't feel that way at a raucous T-Mobile Arena on Monday night as the Golden Knights defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

The playlist continued throughout the morning and the volume increased significantly when "Sandstorm" by Darude came on. It rivaled the vibe that the 17,884 fans at The Fortress created in the latest display of Vegas' top-tier home-ice advantage.

As we get ready for Game 2, let's take a lap around the rink with some of the storylines from the first game of the series.

On Knight Time at Noon on FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340, Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden compared the buildup of the crowd before the team takes the ice to the engines of an airplane as they get louder and louder before takeoff. The team's home-ice advantage has been a factor throughout the playoffs and head coach Pete DeBoer said the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena has a serious difference-maker since fans returned to the building on March 1.

Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden each found the back of the net for the Golden Knights in Game 1 against Montreal. Holden became the first Golden Knight in franchise history to score a goal in consecutive playoff games as he opened the scoring in Game 6 against the Avalanche and closed it with Vegas' fourth goal on Monday. DeBoer noted that scoring can come from anywhere in the postseason and that contributions from all over the lineup are key to winning games at the most important time of the year.

For the third season in a row, Marc-Andre Fleury took home the title of Save of the Year in the NHL Fan Choice Awards. Fleury's goal line stand against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11 earned him 40 percent of the voting as he edged Braden Holtby, Mackenzie Blackwood and Chris Driedger for the honor. Here's the save that stands as the best of the season for No. 29.

Video: ANA@VGK: Fleury stymies Lundestrom's backhander

While Fleury earned his third Fan Choice Award, Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch's dog, Teddy, picked up his first such honor as the Best Dog. His qualifications are self-explanatory… just look at that face!

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: TEDDY TUCH WINS BEST DOG!!!!!!!!!

Full coverage of the Golden Knights' morning skate on Wednesday can be found on the VGK social channels as the Morning Skate Report goes live at about 10 a.m. Tune in for the latest as you get set for Game 2 between Vegas and Montreal on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.

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