Dustin Tokarski put out a performance that should have quieted his doubters in the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 against the New York Rangers. The win put the Canadiens right back in the series, going into Game 4 with only a 2-1 deficit.
Tokarski made 35 saves and even the two goals he did allow were caused by his own teammates. The first goal he was knocked out of the play by Josh Gorges and the second goal went off of Alexei Emelin.
Alex Galchenyuk scored the winner off of his face/chest/shoulder making for two unlikely heroes. Both Galchenyuk and Tokarski made their 2014 playoff debuts just one game ago.
The difference between this series being 3-0 and 2-1 is obviously huge. The Canadiens still have a ton of work to do but the margin of error is obviously bigger now.
The Canadiens played very badly, especially in the first two periods. In fact this game reminded me of Game 4 against Boston a little bit. A very slow start, held in the game by their great goaltending and then a better third period followed by a quick overtime goal.
Luckily for the Canadiens, the result in overtime was reversed.
It can’t be understated how much character this team has. To be able to come back after a last minute goal against to send the game to overtime is not easy. The reaction after the goal was also nice to see from everyone going to Galchenyuk to a few people heading to the true here – Tokarski.
The only things left to see will be how the Rangers respond to their first loss in six games and also if Tokarski can keep his heroics going. He was much calmer in Game 3 and it showed.
You can also expect the Canadiens to give him a better performance in front of him. I wouldn’t expect the first two periods to replay themselves at any point in this series.
Game 4 is on Sunday after two more days off between games. The Canadiens and their fans can relax a lot more than they were able to the rest of this week.