Montreal beats Rangers in OT
New York - Alex Galchenyuk tipped in a pass at the right post 1:12 into overtime, and the Montreal Canadiens overcame a late tying goal and beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night.
Montreal cut New York’s series lead to 2-1, and can tie it Sunday night at Madison Square Garden before heading home for Game 5.
Galchenyuk, playing only his second game of these playoffs after returning from an injury Monday, deflected a feed from Tomas Plekanec to win it.
The Rangers tied it with 28.1 seconds left in regulation on Chris Kreider’s goal.
Dustin Tokarski was sharp throughout in his second NHL playoff game in place of injured goalie Carey Price, making 35 saves.
New York had its five-game winning streak snapped, and its run of six straight victories over the Canadiens also ended. The Rangers fell to 1-1 in overtime in these playoffs. The Canadiens are 3-1.
Montreal was poised to win it in regulation after Danny Briere scored with 3:02 left in the third, but Kreider matched him when his shot hit the sliding right skate of Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin in the crease and caromed past Tokarski, who thrust his head upward in disgust as Madison Square Garden shook.
Tokarski was playing in his second straight game because of a series-ending injury sustained by Price, who was barreled into by Kreider in Game 1.
Briere’s goal was also aided by an opposing defenseman, as Ryan McDonagh nudged the puck past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov tied it at 1 for the Canadiens in the second period after Carl Hagelin staked New York to the lead in the first.
Tokarski, in his second career playoff game, was sharp throughout. He protected the lead with 55 seconds left, denying Martin St. Louis’ drive from the right side with a lunging save, but couldn’t close it out then. He stopped 27 shots in a 3-1 loss on Monday in Game 2.
Lundqvist made 22 saves, but couldn’t pull out this win.
The Rangers grabbed the lead in the first period that featured only one goal but hardly lacked for action.
By the time Hagelin put New York in front with a batted shot, there had already been one injury as the result of a questionable open-ice hit by Brandon Prust, and an ejection after Daniel Carcillo sought revenge on Prust — a former Rangers fan favorite — for his earlier leveling of Derek Stepan.
Prust landed a blindsided shot to Stepan’s chest with his shoulder just 4:48 in, knocking down Stepan, who remained on the ice for several moments before skating off. Stepan returned later in the period. Prust heard boos the rest of the game.
Carcillo’s night ended about three minutes later when he rammed Prust from behind in back of the Canadiens net. Carcillo earned a penalty for charging, and Prust ended up in a fight with Derek Dorsett. At some point, Carcillo had an altercation with linesman Scott Driscoll and was ejected.
The Rangers killed off the penalty, and soon after got on the board.
Hagelin raced up ice on a 2-on-1 with St. Louis and sent a pass to him on the right. St. Louis fired a quick shot that was blocked in the crease by defenseman Josh Gorges, but the puck popped up in the air. Hagelin deftly batted it in for his fifth of the playoffs — tied for the team lead — with 4:42 left in the first.
New York used its speed to build a 14-4 shots edge in the opening period.
Max Pacioretty set up Markov’s goal when he sent a pass from the left-wing boards across the Rangers zone into the right circle to Markov, who ripped his first of the postseason past Lundqvist at 3:21.
The Rangers were outscored in a period for the first time in the series but were again firmly in favor in shots — registering 13 on Tokarski in the second and 27 overall through 40 minutes. Montreal had 13 total heading into the third.
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