Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
|Date & Time||Sunday May 25, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -170 / Montreal Canadiens +154 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Canadiens look to even the series with the Rangers on Sunday with their second straight victory after falling behind 2-0 after back to back losses on home ice to open things up.
The Montreal Canadiens played their way back into the Eastern Conference finals with a much needed game three victory behind a stellar performance by replacement goaltender Dustin Tokarski who stepped up to the plate in a big way and has earned the right to start a pivotal game four. The loss of Carey Price in most people’s eyes spelled the end of Montreal’s Cup aspirations but Tokarski, who has demonstrated he can win at any level, has reinvigorated that hopes after his spectacular outing in game three that brought the series back to within a game. Playing on the road hasn’t necessarily been Montreal’s forte and they’re definitely a team who thrives on the energy of their home crowd but with a rookie goaltender being leaned on in this circumstance I think playing on the road has way less pressure and as such he was able to relax and play his game. Montreal as a whole looked a lot more relaxed and for their sake they’ll hope that another strong effort at MSG will send them back to Montreal with home ice advantage.
The Rangers had a great opportunity to push the Canadiens to the brink of elimination on home ice in game three after sweeping the first two contests on the road and it looked as though a late goal that forced overtime was going to generate the momentum they needed but it wasn’t to be. The Rangers lost in overtime and squandered a chance to go up 3-0 and now must hold off a second straight loss on home ice to retain the series lead and home ice advantage although at this rate that hasn’t played a factor one bit. New York is a good team that many had as a playoff participant but the same number has them losing in the first round to the Flyers and definitely in the second round to the Penguins but they have battled through both of those foes and now have a great shot at upending their Original Six rivals from Montreal and earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Rangers were all over the Canadiens in game three’s loss which has me concerned as the Habs were able to gain a win without playing their best and now that they have momentum back I can definitely see them tying things up here and head back home on even terms.