(Photo: Getty Images)
The Canadiens head back to Montreal facing a tough mountain to climb in their Eastern Conference final series after losing 3-2 to the New York Rangers in overtime on Sunday.
The Canadiens are now on the brink of elimination with the Rangers holding a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. Game 5 will be played Tuesday at the Bell Centre.
“We have to find a way to regroup. This series isn’t over,” Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said after the Habs loss at Madison Square Garden.
“I thought we battled hard and had a decent game. We just have to keep building,” Gionta said.
“As this series has gone on we have gotten better and have been able to get more chances. Obviously we would have liked that win, but we are not out of this yet.”
“By no means are we counting ourselves out,” Gionta added.
“It’s a tough loss. It’s a bitter loss, but at the end of the day we are still in this series. I still like our chances with two games at home.
The game featured a steady parade of Rangers to the penalty box. But the Canadiens only managed to score on one of their eight power plays and gave up a shorthanded goal in the first period when Carl Hagelin scored on a breakaway. The Habs finally connected with the man advantage early in the third period when Subban beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with a slap shot to tie the score at 2-2.
Prior to that goal the Rangers, who had the third best penalty kill percentage (85.3) during the regular season in the NHL, hadn’t allowed a power play goal dating back to Game 2 in their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We had opportunities on the power play. We didn’t take advantage of it tonight,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.
“Yes, we scored a goal. It was a tying goal, but we gave up one. That was almost the story of the game. I thought our power play has to be better.”
Martin St. Louis scored the game-winning goal at 6:02 in overtime.
“We had a few chances to move the puck out of our own end and it cost (us) the game,” Therrien said of the overtime winner.
Canadiens rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski played another solid game and made a sensational glove save on St. Louis on a breakaway earlier in the game.
“I just remember there was a turnover somewhere around the neutral zone. I’m not sure. St. Louis had some time there and picked a corner on me,” Tokarski said of the game-winning goal.
Tokarski kept the Canadiens in the game and gave them a chance to win in overtime, said defenceman P.K. Subban.
“He’s played well. We can’t ask anything more from him,” said Subban who logged the most ice time–33:16–of any skater on both teams.
“The thing about the playoffs you’ve got to have a short memory and put things behind you and get ready for the next game,” he said.
You can watch what Subban had to say after the game here:
You can listen to Tokarski here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)