[Power Stone 2]Golden Knights’ Mark Stone shoulders blame for loss to Canadiens | Las Vegas Review

Tag: 2021-07-08 13:15

  Vegas Golden Knights' William Carrier (28) falls on Montreal Canadiens' Jeff Petry (26) during ...Vegas Golden Knights' William Carrier (28) falls on Montreal Canadiens' Jeff Petry (26) during ...Vegas Golden Knights’ William Carrier (28) falls on Montreal Canadiens’ Jeff Petry (26) during the first 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 Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) is dumped by Vegas Golden Knights' Peter DiLiberato ...Montreal Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) is dumped by Vegas Golden Knights' Peter DiLiberato ...Montreal Canadiens’ Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) is dumped by Vegas Golden Knights’ Peter DiLiberatore (3) as Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki (14) skates by during the first 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)Vegas Golden Knights' Reilly Smith (19) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender ...Vegas Golden Knights' Reilly Smith (19) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender ...Vegas Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith (19) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during the first 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 Canadiens' Ben Chiarot (8) slides into goaltender Carey Price as he makes a save off V ...Montreal Canadiens' Ben Chiarot (8) slides into goaltender Carey Price as he makes a save off V ...Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot (8) slides into goaltender Carey Price as he makes a save off Vegas Golden Knights’ Mattias Janmark (26) during the first 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)Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) tries to deflect a shot past Montreal Canadiens goalte ...Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) tries to deflect a shot past Montreal Canadiens goalte ...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)Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price ...Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price ...Vegas Golden Knights’ Alec Martinez (23) scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during the third 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)Vegas Golden Knights' Robin Lehner (90) kneels on the ice as Montreal Canadiens' Artturi Lehkon ...Vegas Golden Knights' Robin Lehner (90) kneels on the ice as Montreal Canadiens' Artturi Lehkon ...Vegas Golden Knights’ Robin Lehner (90) kneels on the ice as Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen (62) gets mobbed by teammates in celebration of his game-winning goal following overtime 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)Vegas Golden Knights' Reilly Smith (19) is taken out by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmu ...Vegas Golden Knights' Reilly Smith (19) is taken out by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmu ...Vegas Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith (19) is taken out by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson in front of teammate Carey Price during the third 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)

  Mark Stone, emotions still raw, sat down at a Bell Centre podium Thursday night and faced the music.

  The Golden Knights right wing excelled most of the season as the organization’s first captain. He scored at more than a point-per-game clip in the regular season. He was a Selke Trophy finalist for the second time in his career.

  In the playoffs, he delivered a crucial overtime goal in Game 5 and played stellar defense as part of the Knights’ second-round upset of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche.

  But the same Stone wasn’t present for the semifinal series against the Montreal Canadiens. He finished with no points in the series, and the Knights were eliminated in six games after a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday night at Belle Centre in Montreal.

  “I got skunked this series,” Stone said. “That can’t happen. I’m the captain of this team, the leader of this team. I take a lot of responsibility for what just occurred.”

  Stone was missing his usual center in Chandler Stephenson for half the series and was often defended at Bell Centre by center Phillip Danault’s excellent defensive line.

  The Knights still needed their captain to find a way to produce. Stone had seven shots on goal in the six games and finished minus-two at five-on-five.

  He also had a giveaway that led directly to a Montreal power-play goal in Game 5. The Knights were minus-one in Stone’s 70:16 of short-handed ice time in the regular season.

  Coach Pete DeBoer said his captain doesn’t need to shoulder all the blame. Stone wasn’t the only one not scoring.

  Only center William Karlsson and defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore finished with more than three points in the series.

  “I’m not surprised he’s taking that on himself, but that’s not a load he needs to carry and definitely not alone,” DeBoer said. “There’s another door we’ve got to find a way to barge through at this time of year. I think everybody’s got to look in the mirror. Obviously coaches included.”

  Martinez grateful

  Defenseman Alec Martinez called the Knights’ second consecutive exit “incredibly disappointing.” The two-time Stanley Cup winner said it was one of the best teams he has played on.

  The pending unrestricted free agent also made sure to mention how grateful he was that the Knights played a season at all. The team got in a 56-game regular season and 19 playoff games during a pandemic.

  “A lot of people, not just in our organization but around the league, put in a lot of effort, did a lot of different things during a strange time that allowed us to play this year,” Martinez said. “A thank you and a tip of the cap to all those. I know there’s probably countless people out there that made it possible.”

  Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.