Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
Montreal 3, NY RANGERS 2 (OT) – NYR lead series 2-1
GALCHENYUK, TOKARSKI LIFT CANADIENS IN OVERTIME
Alex Galchenyuk scored the winning goal at 1:12 of overtime and Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves to propel the Canadiens past the Rangers, cutting their series deficit to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Final.
* The Canadiens snapped a six-game playoff losing streak to the Rangers dating to Game 3 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, tied for their longest such postseason drought versus any opponent (also BOS, BUF and PHI).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Galchenyuk (20 years, 99 days) became the youngest player in Canadiens history to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, besting Gus Rivers (20 years, 129 days; Game 1 of 1930 SF vs. NYR – 4OT).
* Galchenyuk also became the second player age 20 or younger to record an overtime goal this postseason. Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (18 years, 237 days) became the second-youngest player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he did so in Game 5 of the First Round vs. MIN.
* “Not a top-three goal skill-wise, but one of the most important in my career so far, for sure,” said Galchenyuk, who played his second game this postseason following a knee injury that sidelined him for nearly two months. “I couldn’t be more happy right now.”
* Making his second start in place of injured goaltender Carey Price, Tokarski recorded his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other goaltenders have earned their first postseason win in the Conference Finals or later since the NHL expanded to the four-round playoff format in 1975: Dwayne Roloson (for BUF in Game 1 of 1999 CF), Martin Gerber (for CAR in Game 4 of 2006 CF), Jussi Markkanen (for EDM in Game 3 of 2006 F) and Mike Smith (for TB in Game 4 of 2011 CF).
* Tokarski now has 4-4-1 record with a 2.85 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and one shutout in 12 career NHL appearances (regular season and playoffs).
* ICYMI: Tokarksi made a pair of highlight-reel saves against Martin St. Louis, first sprawling for an acrobatic stop to keep the game knotted at 1-1 and then robbing him in the final minute of regulation. After the game, teammate Brendan Gallagher delivered acelebratory pie to Tokarski’s face.
* Daniel Briere scored the go-ahead goal with 3:02 left in the third period before Chris Kreider potted the tying marker with 28.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Briere now has 53-63—116 in 121 career playoff games, including 3-4—7 in 13 outings this postseason. His 53 career playoff goals ranks fourth among active players, while his 116 points are tied for fifth (with Henrik Zetterberg).
* Andrei Markov recorded his fourth career postseason goal and first since April 26, 2008 (vs. PHI), snapping a 29-game playoff drought.
DID YOU KNOW?
Chris Kreider’s goal at the end of the third period marked the sixth time in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs that a team has tied the game in the final minute of regulation. However, it marked the first time the club that tied the game went on to lose in overtime.
GAME-TYING GOALS IN FINAL MINUTE OF REGULATION
Paul Stastny, COL – 19:46 of Game 1, First Round vs. MIN (COL won 5-4 in OT)
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL – 19:53 of Game 2, First Round vs. CHI (STL won 4-3 in OT)
Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ – 19:36 of Game 4, First Round vs. PIT (CBJ won 4-3 in OT)
Devante Smith-Pelly, ANA – 19:36 of Game 6, First Round at DAL (ANA won 5-4 in OT)
Marian Gaborik, LA – 19:53 of Game 1, Second Round at ANA (LA won 3-2 in OT)
Chris Kreider, NYR – 19:31 of Game 3, Conference Finals vs. MTL (MTL won 3-2 in OT)
RANGERS LEGENDS HEADLINE SPECIAL EVENT AT NHL STORE
Rangers legends Jeff Beukeboom and Ron Duguay will face off in a bubble hockey game at noon today at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in Manhattan.
NHL Network hosts Steve
Mears and Chantel McCabe will emcee and provide play-by-play commentary. Rangers anthem singer John Amirante will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before the match.
Fans are encouraged to join in on the fun and watch the former Rangers battle at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store, located at 1185 Avenue of the Americas (between W. 46th and W. 47th Streets).
Media should RSVP to Nirva Milord at [email protected].
There now have been 20 overtime games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (out of 80 total contests, 25.0%). Road teams improved to 13-7 (.650) in those games, including eight consecutive victories . . . Rangers forward Chris Kreider scored his second game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation in 2013-14. He also recorded the tying marker at 19:38 of the third period in an eventual 4-3 overtime loss Dec. 7 vs. NJ . . . Rangers forwards Derek Stepan (1-6—7) and Martin St. Louis (3-3—6) both collected assists to extend their point streaks to five games . . . Rangers forward Carl Hagelin opened the scoring and now has 5-3—8 in 17 games this postseason. He had 3-6—9 in 29 career playoff games entering 2013-14 . . . The Rangers went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and have not allowed a power-play goal in eight consecutive games (22 times shorthanded), their longest postseason stretch since a 10-game streak in 1940 . . . SCORING CHANGE: The NHL announced that Anze Kopitar now is credited with the secondary assist on Jake Muzzin’s goal for the Kings at 4:04 of the third period in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. Kopitar now has registered at least one point in 14 of the team’s 16 playoff games, leading the NHL with 15 assists and 20 points . . . The Islanders signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract . . . The Islanders also announced that they will retain their first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and transfer their first-round selection in 2015 to the Sabres. The pick was part of the team’s trade for Thomas Vanek on Oct. 27, 2013 . . . Henrik Lundqvist, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are among the nominees for Nickelodeon’s inaugural Kids’ Choice Sports awards show. Hosted and executive produced by Michael Strahan, the show will be telecast live on Thursday, July 17, from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles . . . ICYMI: Rangers legends and 1994 Stanley Cup champions Stephane Matteau, Adam Graves and Jeff Beukeboom visited three Manhattan FDNY firehouses prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Chicago @ Los Angeles, Game 3, series tied 1-1, 8:00 p.m., NBC, CBC, RDS
For the third consecutive year, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
Source: NHL Media