New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Galchenyuk scored 1:12 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens took an important 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at Madison Square Garden.
New York had tied the game with 28.1 seconds to play in regulation, but the Canadiens wasted no time in overtime, as Tomas Plekanec skated in through the middle and threw the puck on net from the left circle.
Henrik Lundqvist made a left-pad save on the shot, but the rebound hit off a crashing Galchenyuk in front of the net and went in to end the game.
Montreal had dropped the first two games of this series at home and now trails the best-of-seven set 2-1 with Game 4 set for Sunday night in New York.
"We played really well, but we just have to forget about it, move on, and get ready for the next one," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said.
Making just his second playoff start in place of an injured Carey Price, Dustin Tokarski shined in this contest as he stopped 35 shots to get his first postseason win.
"He's a battler and the most important thing is he's a winner," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. "You have to give a lot of credit to the Rangers, they came out strong. We weathered the storm and played with more confidence as the game went on. But without Tokarski, we wouldn't have won that game."
Andrei Markov and Danny Briere also scored for Montreal, which is hoping to get to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since defeating Los Angeles in 1993.
Lundqvist turned away 21 shots, while Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers, who were last in the Cup finals one year after the Canadiens, also taking home the chalice in a seven-game series against Vancouver.
Montreal scored a go-ahead goal with 3:02 to play in regulation off a rush that saw Lundqvist turn away a Rene Bourque shot from the slot, but the rebound eventually made it behind the net and to the left side where Briere was able to sneak it in.
New York, though, pulled Lundqvist with 1 1/2 minutes to play for an extra attacker.
Tokarski did all he could to keep the puck out of the net, making hard stops on Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan, but the Rangers were able to tie the game in the final minute.
Dan Girardi had the puck along the right boards and threw it to the front where Kreider got a stick on it. The disc then hit off the right skate of Alexei Emelin and went in to send the game to overtime.
There weren't many chances early, but there were some hits with the first one seeing Brandon Prust catching Stepan in the chest in open ice.
A few minutes later, the Rangers got their revenge, but it cost them as Daniel Carcillo was whistled for charging after hitting Prust. That led to a fight between Prust and Derek Dorsett, with Carcillo drawing a game misconduct for getting physical with an official.
New York was getting shots on net, but none threatening, and Lundqvist kept the game scoreless with around five minutes to play after stopping a one-timer from Max Pacioretty with around five minutes left.
Moments after that, the Rangers went on top as Montreal's P.K. Subban was holding the puck at the right point and misfired on a pass, with Hagelin picking up the disc and heading the other way on a 2-on-1.
Skating down the left wing, Hagelin held the disc and got Josh Gorges to fall to the ice before passing the puck over to the right. St. Louis fired a one- timer on net that Gorges knocked into the air with his hand, but Hagelin was able to bat it in for his fifth of the postseason with 4:42 left in the first.
New York came out strong to start the second period and had a good chance when Hagelin had a shot on net from the left side, but Tokarski gloved it away.
Less than two minutes later, the Canadiens tied the contest. Brendan Gallagher dished a short pass over to the left point for Pacioretty, who sent it cross- ice to an uncovered Markov and he wristed it in for his first of the playoffs.
Tokarski, who made 13 stops in the second period, kept the game tied just over five minutes in when he used the left pad to rob St. Louis down low from the right side.
Both teams had a power play in the frame, and the Rangers went into the second intermission on a man advantage as Gallagher was called for roughing with just two seconds left in the period.