Montreal's Alex Galenychuk scored 1:12 into overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden Thursday night, cutting New York's lead in the series to 2 games to 1.
Galenychuk's game winner came off a rebound from a shot by Tomas Plekanec.
It came after the Rangers' Chris Kreider scored with just 28.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 2-2.
A shot from Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was deflected by Kreider and was knocked into the net off the skate of Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.
The Canadiens had taken a 2-1 lead just minutes earlier. Montreal forward Daniel Briere fired the puck at the net, and it was kicked in by Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough to give the Habs the lead with 3:02 to go in the third period.
The game took on somewhat of an ugly tone in the early minutes after Canadiens forward Brandon Prust knocked Rangers forward Derek Stepan out of the game with an open-ice hit that made contact at a point high on Stepan's body. Stepan did return to the game later in the period.
A few minutes later, Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo was called for charging on a hit on Prust, and was subsequently given a game misconduct. Replays appeared to show Carcillo making contact with a linesman with his elbow.
The Rangers opened the scoring with just under five minutes remaining in the first period on a goal by Carl Hagelin.
Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov tied the game with a goal a little more than three minutes into the second period.
Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves in his first career postseason win. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves.
The game took Ranger fans on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but in the end, fans who were at the Garden Thursday night left disappointed.
"We were on such a high, and then it was just like, you went right down," said one fan. "It was like, your adrenaline, you were just like, 'no.' It was so tough."
"Very disappointing," said another. "It's playoffs. It's tough hockey. It's a big game. It's a big team. It's Original Six. It's disappointing."
"Terribly disappointing, to get it to overtime in the closing seconds of regulation and then to lose it in 1:12 of overtime. The crowd was ready to explode," said a third. "Just didn't happen tonight, but we'll get 'em next time.
Montreal will try to even the series at Madison Square Garden in Game 4 Sunday night. That game starts at 8 p.m.