Alex Galchenyuk scored at the right post just 1:12 into overtime as the Montreal Canadiens climbed back into the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night, winning Game 3 at Madison Square Garden, 3-2.
The goal, which came after the Rangers forced overtime on Chris Kreider's goal with 28.1 seconds left in regulation, gave the Canadiens a badly needed win after the Rangers won the first two games in Montreal. Daniel Briere had put the Canadiens up 2-1 at 16:58 of the third.
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The win was highlighted by a terrific performance by Montreal rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski, who made 35 saves, including a glove stop on Martin St. Louis with 55 seconds left with Henrik Lundqvist pulled for an extra skater.
"Without Tokarski's performance, the result probably would have been different," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "He's a battler."
Game 4 is Sunday night at the Garden. The victory guarantees a Game 5 in Montreal on Tuesday. All three games have been won by the road team.
"I thought we played solid through 60 minutes," said Carl Hagelin, who scored the Rangers' first goal. "Last game they might've been the better team and we won. Tonight we were the better team and they won."
The Rangers hadn't been at the Garden in 11 days, winning Game 7 of the previous round in Pittsburgh and taking the first two games of the conference finals in Montreal.
And they were down to 11 forwards early in the first period. After Dan Carcillo just missed on a pass from Derek Dorsett in front, Brandon Prust ignited the Rangers' anger with a blindside, mid-ice hit that left Derek Stepan face down on the ice and woozy.
At 5:51, with Stepan still in the dressing room, Carcillo ran Prust from behind into the boards and Dorsett dropped the gloves with Prust. They each received five minutes for fighting, but Carcillo was assessed a game misconduct for wrestling with linesman Scott Driscoll, who was trying to shepherd him to the box.
Stepan said he believes the league should look at Prust's hit. Prust was not made available to the media.
Stepan missed six minutes, but when he returned, he drilled Alexei Emelin into the end boards, a hit that was immediately followed by Rick Nash hammering Andrei Markov.
The Rangers killed the charging penalty to Carcillo, upping their mark to 21-for-21, and struck first at 15:18. P.K. Subban lost the puck up ice, creating Hagelin's two-on-one with St. Louis. Hagelin slowed and drew Josh Georges to the crease, freeing St. Louis for a shot that Georges blocked, but he bumped Tokarski. The puck popped in the air and Hagelin batted it into the net for his fifth of the playoffs.
With Carcillo out, Kreider was double-shifting on the fourth line.
Tokarski, starting his second straight game, made two fine stops at the beginning of the second, a glove save on Hagelin, with the rebound cleared by Lars Eller, and a pad stop at the right post on St. Louis.
Markov tied the score when his low shot from the right circle off Max Pacioretty's pass went through Lundqvist at 3:21 of the second. It was only the sixth shot of the game for the Canadiens.
Tokarski continued his sharp play, denying Mats Zuccarello's wraparound, Brian Boyle's tip of Marc Staal's shot and another shot by Hagelin. He was just too good Thursday night.
"We had chances, we just couldn't get that second [goal]," St. Louis said. "It took us a while. I liked our chances in overtime, but they got the right bounce."