NHL: Rangers Grab 2-0 Series Lead, Tokarski as Backup Goaltender
24-year-old Dustin Tokarski, with only ten NHL games under his belt prior to Monday’s loss, served as the replacement for Carey Price.
In game one of the series Chris Kreider slid into Price, but the goaltender appeared to be fine as he skated around and remained in the game. Unfortunately for the Canadiens its goaltender will not play the remainder of the series, and possibly the Stanley Cup Final.
Montreal scored its first goal of the night only minutes into the contest, but the roaring crowd would not see another goal from Montreal the remainder of the game. Just seconds later, 14 seconds to be exact, Ryan McDonagh silenced Bell Centre and the excitement vanished as quickly as it appeared. McDonagh, whom was drafted and traded by the Canadiens, played with purpose Monday night.
After winning the face off, the Rangers got its second goal when Kreider made a pass to Rick Nash who immediately sent the puck flying into the net. After Kreider’s matchup with Price last contest, the crowd did not hold back on booing him throughout the game. His speed made a difference on the line, and he played great defense on the night.
The crowd was loud the entire contest, but that didn’t phase New York. “It’s exciting,” Nash expressed his view on the crowds response, “They don’t boo you unless you’re doing something right.”
Kreider wasn’t the only speedy player from the Rangers’ roster. The entire team played with intensity and took advantage of its opportunities to put itself ahead. Henrick Lundqvist ended the night with an impressive 40 saves, which is a 2014 postseason high.
In the second period the Rangers earned its third consecutive goal. Martin St. Luis took advantage of the power play to give New York a 3-1 lead.
It has been 20 years since the Rangers have advanced to the Stanley Cup. They are currently holding a five-game playoff win streak, which is the longest since 1994, when New York last won the Stanley Cup.
Game three of the series will be played in New York on Thursday as the Canadiens fight to see more than four contests, with the hopes of returning to Montreal next Tuesday.