Dustin Tokarski continues to provide solid goaltending in the absence of Carey Price, but his counterpart Henrik Lundqvist was one save better and the result of the New York Rangers’ overtime win put the Montreal Canadiens on the brink of elimination, and the Rangers within a win of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Martin St. Louis scored the winner just over 6 minutes into the first overtime period, finally finding a hole over Tokarski’s shoulder after the Habs failed on a couple of opportunities to get the puck out of their own end.
The teams exchanged goals, with the Rangers twice having a one goal lead. Carl Hagelin opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, getting behind the Montreal defense and taking a stretch pass from Brian Boyle.
Francis Bouillion tied it up in the second period, jumping into the rush to make it a 2-on-1, putting a snap shot over the shoulder of Lundqvist.
Montreal got caught again, this time a poor line change allowed Derick Brassard to get behind the defense, and on the breakaway he made a full wind-up and wired a slap shot from the hash marks past Tokarski in the last minute of the second to give the Rangers the lead.
The Habs’ power play, which had been the bane of their existence through the first three and a half games, finally clicked on their 6th opportunity of the night. P.K. Subban one-timed a perfect feed from Andrei Markov that got through traffic and past Lundqvist. It appeared to be tipped on the way in, possibly by Brendan Gallagher, but Subban kept credit for the tying goal. It was the club’s first power play goal in the series, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. [related-playoffs]
But it was all for naught as St. Louis, who had been stoned by Tokarski on numerous attempts from almost the same spot, finally ended the game. It came after New York had to kill yet another penalty in overtime, another failed attempt by the Habs’ power play that went 1 for 8 on the night.
Each team had 29 shots, with the Rangers netminder making 1 more save than his Montreal counterpart, and that was the difference.
Montreal now faces a must-win scenario on Tuesday night when they host Game 5, or their summer will begin sooner than they would like.