Golden Knights eager to play outside division in semifinals

Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer showed video of the Canadiens on Saturday hoping there would be some level of familiarity with the opponent in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Not everyone was up to speed, however.

The Knights are using the extra days ahead of Monday’s Game 1 against Montreal to prepare for a new opponent after facing exclusively West Division foes during the regular season and two rounds of the playoffs.

“It was funny when we presented to the players because I think in their down time they’re not watching as much hockey as we are as coaches,” DeBoer said. “For a lot of them, having not played them and for a lot of them not having even seen them this year, it was definitely interesting to see some of the responses.”

The Knights and Canadiens haven’t played since Jan. 18, 2020, when host Montreal won 5-4 in a shootout after Reilly Smith tied the game with eight seconds remaining in regulation. That was DeBoer’s second game in charge after he was hired to replace Gerard Gallant.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, teams haven’t played outside of their division this season. The Knights have played seven teams and last met an Eastern Conference club March 3, 2020 (New Jersey).

Montreal hasn’t faced a team from the U.S. this season and played the six other teams in the North Division nine or 10 times each in the regular season. The extensive scouting…

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