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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Reaction: Canadiens 3, Rangers 2 (OT)

By Katie Strang

NEW YORK -- Well, the Montreal Canadiens weren't going to go away that easy.

The Habs climbed right back into the series with a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden Thursday night, with Alex Galchenyuk notching the winner just 1:12 into overtime.

When veteran center Daniel Briere snapped a 1-1 draw with just 3:02 remaining in regulation, it appeared as if the game was over, but Chris Kreider sent the MSG crowd into a frenzy with his game-tying goal with just 28.1 ticks on the clock remaining.

Kreider's shot banked in off Alexei Emelin's skate and the 23-year-old winger found himself, once again, the catalyst for the Rangers and the scourge of Habs fans everywhere.

Rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski was otherwise fabulous for Montreal in just his second NHL playoff start, making 35 saves throughout the night and largely outplaying Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Expect a call: Habs tough guy and ex-Ranger Brandon Prust is clearly no longer a fan favorite at MSG. He was taunted during the first period after a questionable open-ice hit that laid out Rangers center Derek Stepan in the opening frame. Prust may get a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for the play, which went unpenalized, during which he nailed his former teammate with a blow that the crowd considered both late and high. Stepan was down on the ice for several minutes before he was able to get up and head to the Rangers’ dressing room. He appeared soon after, however, missing only 5:20 of play. On his first shift back, Stepan drilled Montreal’s Alexei Emelin with the type of body check that made it obvious he was not a happy camper.

Carcillo tossed: Rugged winger Daniel Carcillo may be in some hot water as well, after getting tossed by NHL linesman Scott Driscoll later in the first period. With tensions still high and emotions boiling over, Carcillo was slapped with a two-minute charging minor on Prust and then a game misconduct, presumably for the contact he made with Driscoll after the fact. Replays showed Carcillo resisting Driscoll’s attempts to separate him from the action, with Driscoll holding Carcillo’s stick and Carcillo hitting Driscoll with his right elbow. Though the NHL’s Rule 40, Physical Abuse of an Official, has different thresholds that carry automatic suspensions, any punishment for Carcillo will depend heavily on the officials’ discretion, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Brassard out: Derick Brassard missed his second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury sustained in the series opener Saturday afternoon. Brassard was forced from the game following a hard, open-ice hit from Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver in the first period of Game 1 -- a blow that left him reeling. Though Brassard has skated on consecutive days, coach Alain Vigneault has characterized the 26-year-old pivot as “day-to-day.” Though Dominic Moore has stepped in to center a line with Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers could use Brassard’s dynamic presence down the middle. After a quiet first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Brassard finished the team’s second-round set against the Pittsburgh Penguins with four goals and five points in seven games.