Dustin Tokarski is enjoying his moment in the spotlight, as the replacement for Carey Price won his first career playoff game and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Montreal Canadiens. Tokarski made 35 saves to help the Habs avoid an insurmountable 3-0 deficit and get them back into their series with the New York Rangers.
The Rangers got a fortunate bounce themselves, in a game filled with fortunate bounces, to force overtime as Chris Krieder tipped a shot from the corner and the puck went off the skate of Alexei Emelin past Tokarski.
Carl Hagelin had opened the scoring in the later stages of the first, reaching over a fallen Tokarski to bat an airborne puck into the net over a pileup of Montreal Canadiens. Andrei Markov tied it up in the second, taking a pass from Max Pacioretty and putting a wrist shot past Lundqvist from the faceoff dot.
The game took a serious tone in the first with a blatant late hit by Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan that forced the top Rangers centre from the game for a period of time. The hit went unnoticed by both referees, because it was so long after the puck had left Stepan’s stick their attention was turned elsewhere. Already without Derick Brassard, it was fortunate that Stepan escaped serious injury. A few minutes later, Derek Dorsett went after Prust, and while that altercation was going on a linesman was ushering Dan Carcillo out of the fray, during which time Carcillo was trying to break free and physically manhandled the linseman. He was tossed from the game for abuse of an official and will likely see a lengthy suspension. Prust could also face supplemental discipline for the late and predatory nature of his hit on Stepan.
With the series now a 2-1 in favor of the Rangers, the win assures at least a 5th game back in Montreal, following game 4 Sunday night.