Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski enjoyed some great moments in Game 4, including stopping Martin St. Louis with a beautiful glove save. His efforts fell short when his teammates hung him out to dry, however, including when St. Louis scored the 3-2 overtime winner.
All three of the Rangers goals came without a defenseman in front of their forwards. Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard connected on breakaways while Hagelin found St. Louis all alone for that decisive tally. Many expected Montreal to lean on goaltending as an excuse if this series started to slip away; instead, Tokarski has been brilliant in the past two games.
With this Game 4 victory, the Rangers take a 3-1 series lead to Montreal.
The Rangers found themselves in the penalty box early and often in Game 4. Through regulation, six of their seven penalties were taken in their offensive zone. Remarkably, that trend continued in overtime as Benoit Pouliot was whistled for holding the stick just 30 seconds into OT.
The Canadiens didn’t do much with their PP opportunities for much of the night, although P.K. Subban probably silenced some critics with another big goal:
Subban logged a robust 33:16 minutes of ice time in Game 4, but he couldn’t will the Habs to a 2-2 series tie.
The Madison Square Garden crowd was agitated at times on Sunday, which isn’t too surprising considering the fact that the Canadiens received eight power-play opportunities to three for New York.
Still, when you consider Carl Hagelin’s shorthanded goal, the Rangers have to at least feel good about their penalty kill. Teams don’t usually take more than twice as many penalties than they draw and come out even:
Expect plenty of discussion about officiating, embellishment and self-inflicted penalties, whether those debates take place in the comments or in post-game quotes.
An interesting goalie battle
Both goalies enjoyed some great moments, with Henrik Lundqvist robbing Brian Gionta:
Lundqvist might want one of those goals back, but he stopped 27 out of 29 shots to grab his 41st playoff win (tying the Rangers’ franchise record with Mike Richter). While the star power was on New York’s side, Tokarski acquitted himself quite nicely tonight, as you can see from the time that he bested St. Louis:
For all that’s been made about the Rangers’ advantage in net with Carey Price injured, you can make a legitimate argument that Tokarski has been just as good – if not better – than Lundqvist. Regardless, Lundqvist and the Rangers came out on top tonight and now sit one victory away from an appearance in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.