‘Phenomenal’ Lundqvist steals game, Therrien says after Habs 3-1 loss to Rangers (Video)

(Photo: John Mahoney/The Gazette)

Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault singled out the same New York Ranger as the difference-maker in the Rangers 3-1 victory over the Canadiens Monday at the Bell Centre.

“The reason why tonight that we lost the game is (Henrik) Lundqvist,” Therrien said of the Rangers goaltender who made 40 saves.

“Lundqvist was phenomenal. Phenomenal,” Therrien added for emphasis.

“He stole the game and those things happen in the playoffs.

“But I liked the way that we approached tonight’s game. You need a couple of breaks. And when you get those breaks momentum could change really quick in the playoffs.”

Lundqvist was the only reason they were still in the game, said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.

“(The Canadiens) had a tremendous push. They had total control and possession of the game. And they score, they make it 1-0. Obviously the turning point is us within a minute scoring to tie it up off a lucky bounce,” Vigneault said.

“That changed the momentum, it changed the dynamics of the game a little bit.”

The Canadiens started the game exactly as he hoped, Therrien said.

“I liked our team effort. I think our effort was great tonight.”

The Canadiens outshot the Rangers 41-30 and couldn’t capitalize on their four power play opportunities.

In a surprise move, Therrien opted for Dustin Tokarski instead of back-up goaltender Peter Budaj to start in goal in place of an injured Carey Price.

The No. 1 reason they decided to go with Tokarski is “you look at his track record–he’s a winner,” Therrien said.

Tokarski has back-stopped championship teams from the midget level through to the American Hockey League when he won the Calder Cup in 2012 with the Norfolk Admirals. The 24-year-old goaltender was playing in his first NHL playoff game and won praise from Therrien for his performance.

“I thought he played well tonight,” the coach said.

Tokarski said he was excited when he learned before the morning skate that he was getting the start in goal.

“I thought I played well, but…I came up a bit short. A save or two changes the momentum a bit somewhere in the game.”

He got some encouragement from Price, who was injured in Game 1 on Saturday when Chris Kreider collided with him.

“He shook my hand and said ‘Go out there, get ’em, play your game and be a warrior out there,'” Tokarski recounted after the game.

You can watch what Tokarski had to say here:

You can watch P.K. Subban here:

(Video: Brenda Branswell)


  1. yukonhab says:

    Sad. Ain’t over. The lady will sing again!!

  2. habcertain says:

    I think the horse has left the barn for this one, MT did not get this team refocused after the Bruin win and we are playing with no emotion or energy. Throw in the Price injury……if we go down in 4 straight does MT still keep his job?

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Come on. 41 shots and stretches of domination in their end. Were it not for King Henry, we could’ve scored 5 or 6 goals. This loss had nothing to do with coaching.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Frank2468 says:

      Yes the first game could have been called a blip on the radar burn the film and move on but add the Price injury and that’s a very very tough one to come back from. With all due respect to Dustin and Peter who have sat on the bench since the beginning and now your going to ask them ok get out there and win the series? I actually was really nervous for Dustin talk about baptism by fire and he did well. To bad Lundquisvt came up with a lights out game cause maybe they could have won tonight. But lets put it this way Lundquisvt Priced the habs tonight doens’t feel good sitting on that side of the fence.

  3. theox_8 says:

    Well Frank might as well not post on here with your negativity. I for one have complete confidence in this team. They played well enough to win , if every team quit after being down 2-0 there would be no need for sports . Anyways we still have this, go habs go, and who from the Yukon is posting on here? As I am from the Yukon also.

    • Frank2468 says:

      Ok Theox lets just say they should pull it off and win this series do you honestly believe the Habs can go in to the Cup Final and win without Price?? I’m just really annoyed that finally Price has come into his own and the team is coming together and some goalie crashing artist takes out our best player and he’s is known for doing this as well. And listening to Alain Vigneault say during a press conference when asked about the hit on Price his response was “It was a hockey play”. I know thats what he was going to say but it so reminded me of Claude Julien and Chara that it made my skin crawl. Go Habs Go that’s what my heart says I really really hope.

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m hoping for a comeback, but You have to recognise this is a very different Rangers’ team than We have been used to

    …I think they are for real, and a team that came back from a 3 to 1 deficit against Malkin, Crosby et al is no mirage

    …this, except for St. Louis (who plays like he is 25) is a young-legged team

    …Vanek is made for playing a not-so-fast Bruins team, not a hyper-speed team like the Rangers

    …Vanek will not be any more effective against the Rangers than He has these past two games

    …Prust is also the wrong choice over Bournival for the Rangers

    …Weaver was right for the Bruins, but wrong for the Rangers, …Tinordi has the reach to cut down the ice and be more effective clearing the Kreiders and the like

    …I think Budaj should have been given the start of this game and if ineffective then inserted Tokarski because of the risk to Team cohesion most importantly

    …for the third game I would start Tokarski because any damage to Team morale and/or Buddha’s morale is already fait accompli …and, Tokarski will I believe be more comfortable next game

    …therefore, Tokarski plays in New York …Vanek in the press-box …Bournival in …Andrighetto in …Tinordi in

    …out, Vanek, Prust and Weaver

    …I can see through Your monitors and reading Your lips calling Me an idiot, but that IS My opinion …like it or lump it 🙂

  5. yukonhab says:

    Go getm Habs. 2-0 worst lead for the Rags

  6. Frank2468 says:

    Turn out the lights the parties over and the line for the series should read Krieder and the Rangers gets a leg up on the Price. Wouldn’t it be fitting if the line for series could change to as they say in Hollywood Break a Leg Lundquisvt. Do I sound bitter yes I am, it’s one thing to lose with your best but to lose because your best gets knocked out of a series by a player who is known to crash goalies is really annoying. I just hope Karma comes back to the Rangers in the largest Bitc* way.

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