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Galchenyuk nets OT goal, Canadiens top Rangers 3-2

Friday - 5/23/2014, 3:33pm  ET

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) takes a shot as New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) of Sweden makes a save in the second period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Thursday, May 22, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

IRA PODELL
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- If Henrik Lundqvist was lucky in Montreal, his good fortune ran out under the bright lights of Broadway.

Lundqvist was stellar in claiming the first two wins of the Eastern Conference finals for the Rangers over the Canadiens on the road. But Montreal exacted a bit of revenge in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.

Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said Lundqvist was "getting a little bit lucky." Lundqvist had no problem using some luck to his advantage, but losing a 3-2 heartbreaker in overtime was pretty tough to stomach Thursday night.

"It's tough luck, that's for sure," Lundqvist said after Alex Galchenyuk's goal 1:12 into overtime cut the Canadiens' series deficit to 2-1. "It's extremely disappointing to lose this one.

"We played really well, but we just have to forget it. Move on, and get ready for the next one."

That will come Sunday in Game 4 at the Garden. The Rangers know they will have to go back to Montreal at least once more, and they surely want to head there with a 3-1 series lead as opposed to a 2-2 tie.

"This is a good team. They just beat Boston," Rangers forward Martin St. Louis said. "We tried to get it done, but we are up 2-1 in the series and we play a home game on Sunday. We still have a great opportunity to do something great."

The Rangers were done in ultimately by Galchenyuk, but his heroics were set up by the fine goaltending of Montreal third-stringer Dustin Tokarski.

In his second career NHL playoff game, the 24-year-old Tokarski stopped 35 shots and bounced back from a potentially crushing goal in the final seconds of regulation to lift the Canadiens to the stirring win.

"I did everything I could," said Tokarski, filling in for the injured Carey Price. "I played the same game all the way. I felt more comfortable as it went along.

"So glad we overcame that late bounce and got the winner."

Chris Kreider, whose collision with Price in the opener led to the goalie's series-ending injury, netted the tying goal with 28.1 seconds left to offset Danny Briere's go-ahead tally for Montreal with 3:02 remaining in regulation.

Galchenyuk scored 13 goals in 65 regular-season games, and he had one previous playoff goal in six career games.

"To be honest, I have no idea what happened," Galchenyuk said. "(Tomas Plekanec) put it on net and it bounced off my stick or hit me. It went in, and the celebration started from there."

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien made the surprise decision to start the inexperienced Tokarski in Game 2 instead of veteran Peter Budaj, who was shaky in relief of Price in Game 1.

Tokarski played well in the 3-1 loss on Monday and stopped 27 shots. He validated his coach's decision to stick with him during the first game of the series on enemy ice.

"Dustin Tokarski was phenomenal," Therrien said. "He's a battler, and most important thing, he's a winner.

"I felt our team played with more confidence as the game went on, and (the Rangers) got a break at the end to tie the game up. But without Tokarski's performance, probably the result would have been different."

New York had its five-game winning streak snapped, and its run of six straight victories over the Canadiens also ended. The Rangers fell to 1-1 in overtime in these playoffs. The Canadiens are 3-1.

Montreal was poised to win it in regulation after Briere scored. Kreider tied it when his shot hit the sliding right skate of defenseman Alexei Emelin in the crease and caromed past Tokarski, who thrust his head upward in disgust as the Garden shook.

"It was an emotional game," Galchenyuk said. "It was tough coming back in the locker room, but we focused. We have a character team, and we bounced back."

Briere's goal also was aided by an opposing defenseman, as Ryan McDonagh nudged the puck past Lundqvist.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov tied it at 1 for the Canadiens in the second period after Carl Hagelin staked New York to the lead in the first. Lundqvist made 22 saves.

The Rangers grabbed the lead in a first period that featured only one goal but hardly lacked for action.

By the time Hagelin put New York in front with a batted shot, there had already been one injury as the result of a questionable open-ice hit by Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan, and an ejection after Daniel Carcillo sought revenge on Prust -- a former Rangers fan favorite -- for his leveling of Stepan.

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