June 25 (UPI) -- Left wing Artturi Lehkonen stabbed a backhanded one-timer past netminder Robin Lehner's stick side 99 seconds into overtime to beat the Vegas Golden Knights and send the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Lehkonen's score resulted in a 3-2 win for the Canadiens in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Semifinals on Thursday at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
"It's hard to put into words how proud I am of them, but they deserve it," Canadiens coach Luke Richardson told reporters.
"They're not done yet. They still have fire in their eyes."
The Canadiens won the series 4-2 and face the New York Islanders or defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning and Islanders are tied 3-3 in their series.
The Canadiens won the final two games of their semifinal series to advance to their first Stanley Cup Finals since 1993.
Veteran defenseman Shea Weber scored off a power play 14:06 into the first period to give the Canadiens an early edge. Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith tied the game less than a minute later with a powerful wrist shot from behind the circles.
Defensemen Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry assisted a Cole Caufield goal midway through the second period to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead. Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez answered with a game-tying score 68 seconds into the third period.
Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher sparked the final score when he started a breakaway up the right flank about 1:30 into overtime.
He passed off to center Phillip Danault near the Golden Knights blue line. Danault then slipped a no-look pass to his left to find Lehkonen.
The Canadiens winger ended the game with a beautiful shot just inside the left post.
"This is still work to be done," Weber told reporters. "We have another series coming up and we have to win four more games. I'm definitely proud of everyone in that locker room and of what we've accomplished so far."
The 2021 Stanley Cup Final is expected to start Monday, with Game 3 and Game 4 set for Montreal. Game 1 and Game 2 will be in Tampa, Fla., or Uniondale, N.Y.