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Canadiens goalie Tokarski to start Game 3

Wednesday, 05.21.2014 / 6:54 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / Canadiens-Rangers series blog

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Canadiens-Rangers series blog
Canadiens goalie Tokarski to start Game 3

Goaltender Dustin Tokarski will start for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), according to coach Michel Therrien.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Tokarski made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 2, starting in place of injured Carey Price. The 24-year-old allowed three goals on 30 shots in a 3-1 loss.

Following practice Wednesday, the Rangers admitted to knowing very little about Tokarski before Game 2 in Montreal. Tokarski hadn't played an NHL game in more than two months. He made three appearances with the Canadiens during the regular season, going 2-0-0 with a 1.84 goal-against average and .946 save percentage.

"We did a little video of him, those few games he played. Overall I think he played a good game [in Game 2]. You can't blame him for the goals we scored," Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman said. "It's not about who is in net for them. It's about how we play as a team and how we play our game."

That sentiment seemed to echo throughout the Rangers locker room. Knowing they are two wins away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, New York wasn't too concerned about who was starting for Montreal.

"With every goalie, it's the same song and dance. You've just got to get people in front of him and make it miserable for him, make it hard for him to see that puck," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "As we go along here, I'm sure we'll learn more about him."

Montreal's players were impressed by how Tokarski fared in his first playoff action and expect him to demonstrate similar poise in Game 3.

"He comes in and does a job like that [in Game 2]. That's why you see [coaches] have a lot of trust in him," Canadiens forward Brandon Prust said. "Even though we don't know him too well, you see that the organization and the goalie coach have a lot of trust in him."

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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