Steep mountain to climb
The Canadiens have two days to think before the Eastern Conference Final resuymes at Madison Square Garden.
There is much to ponder.
The Rangers gave up the first goal, to Max Pacioretty, before Ryan McDonagh tied it a mere 17 seconds later.
Rick Nash scored what proved to be the winner with 62 seconds left in the first period.
Martin St. Louis added an insurance goal on a second-period power play.
Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves.
Dustin Tokarski faced 30 shots.
The Rangers have won five playoff games in a row by a cumulative score of 20-6.
Never in doubt
The Rangers shut down the third period tighter than (insert your own metaphor).
With Alex Galchenyuk in the penalty box on a call that enraged the Bell Centre faithful, the great Martin St. Louis completed a tic-tac-toe passing play to make it 3-1.
The Rangers' power play is on fire in this series.
The Canadiens non-fiery PP will start the third period.
Shots were 11-8 for the visitors.
Rough start for Tokarski
The Canadiens dominated early play and got a goal from Max Pacioretty 6:14 in.
The lead lasted 17 seconds.
Ryan McDonagh beat Dustin Tokarski short side on New York's second SoG of the game.
The Canadiens had several good shifts, but Thomas Vanek took a brain-dead penalty during a power play.
And on a rare odd-man rush, Rick Nash beat Tokarski glove side.
Shots were 14-9 Canadiens, who had another six blocked while 10 missed the net.
(Ginette in Nets by the great Josie Gold)
Can your Montreal Canadiens win without their most valuable player?
Is Dustin Tokarski the 2014 incarnation of Ken Dryden in 1971 and Patrick Roy in 1986?
We're going to find out Monday night.
Carey Price is out for the rest of the Eastern Conference final series. Without their star goaltender, the Canadiens face a steep uphill climb against the red-hot Rangers.
A bit of history: In 1971 and 1986, the Canadiens used goaltenders with no NHL playoff experience: Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy, respectively.
In both cases, the untested goaltenders led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup.
Dustin Tokarski has no NHL playoff experience.
And he's starting tonight.
• • •
We learned two things when the series began on Saturday:
• Afternoon hockey sucks, which we kinda knew already; and
• Speed kills.
The Canadiens played the series against Boston at 33 rpm (ask your father).
The Rangers play at 78 rpm (ask your grandfather).
Martin St. Louis is fast. Dominic Moore is fast. Mats Zuccarello is fast. Chris Kreider (known to Game of Thrones fans as Goalie Slayer) is fast.
Heck, all the Rangers can skate.
This quality differentiates the Blueshirts from the lumbering Bruins, and the most sanguine analysis of Saturday's shellacking is the Canadiens needed a game to adjust. Also, having eliminated the mighty Bruins, the Canadiens probably were a tad over-confident in Game 1.
That attitude is history. Without Price, the Canadiens have become underdogs
Puck drops 8:10ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.
• God knows we need a laugh