Lucky bounces. There were a number of them to go around between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers on Thursday.
For the Habs, the final fortunate bounce in a critical Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final went their way – the puck hit off of the body of Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk, behind a helpless Henrik Lundqvist and into the net. Game over. Montreal wins 3-2 in overtime. The Canadiens now trail the best-of-seven series 2-1.
“To be honest I have no idea what happened. It bounced off my stick or hit me (and) it went in,” said Galchenyuk, as per Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette.
In a game that featured an abundance of odd and controversial moments, the final four minutes of regulation and the short 1:12 of overtime was rife with them.
Daniel Briere, the clutch playoff performer that he is, gave Montreal a 2-1 lead with 3:02 remaining in regulation. He was behind the goal line when he directed the puck in front of the New York net. The puck bounced off the leg of a Rangers defender and into the net.
The Rangers sent the game into overtime on a goal credited to Chris Kreider with 29 seconds remaining. A pass out front of the Montreal net went off Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.