Former Spokane Chief Dustin Tokarski stopped 27 shots for Montreal, but it wasn't enough as the New York Rangers beat the Canadiens, 3-1, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night. Tokarski, making his NHL playoff debut, surrendered two first period goals and one more in the second, as New York took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.
Starting goaltender Carey Price was injured in a series-opening loss to the Rangers on Saturday. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien revealved before Monday's Game 2 that Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference finals after suffering a lower-body injury during a collision with Rangers forward Chris Kreider. Price continued to play in Game 1 after the injury but was later pulled after two periods in the 7-2 loss.
"We've lost our best player," Therrien said, "but we've faced adversity this year already."
Therrien called Kreider's collision with his goaltender a "reckless play" in his pregame media briefing, before Monday's Game 2 in Montreal.
"I'm really disappointed," Therrien said. "Obviously he's our best player. Looking at the incident, it's a reckless play. That's the truth."
Tokarski got the start in place of Price for Game 2, after playing 41 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League this season. Price was a gold medal-winning netminder for Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and posted a career-best 2.32 goals against average during the regular season.
Tokarski played junior hockey for the Chiefs in Spokane, taking over as the team's starting goaltender in 2007-08, leading them to the Ed Chynoweth Cup championship, allowing just 31 goals in 21 playoff games. The Chiefs went on to claim the team's second Memorial Cup with Tokarski in net, stopping 53 Kitchener Rangers shots in the championship game.
Tokarski made his NHL debut on January 19, 2010, replacing Antero Niittymaki for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the New York Rangers, Montreal's opponent for Monday night's Game 2.