Montreal survived a 21-4 shots on goal attack in the third period and 43-25 overall as they edged the Florida Panthers 3-2 in Sunrise and now head back to the friendly confines of the Bell Centre for a Thursday night battle with the Carolina Hurricanes.
All five goals in this game came in the second period, with Canadiens markers by Alexei Emelin shooting from the blueline, Jacob de la Rose converting a nice feed from Brandon Prust while killing a penalty, and a long shot from P.K. Subban, which proved to be the winner.
And best of all, aside the from the two points, was Dustin Tokarski’s work between the pipes. Toker was solid like we knew he could be but hadn’t seen much of lately. A fine night for the backup, who had lost his last four and five of six.
But tonight he was confident and steady, and his mom, who was my favourite in the 24CH segment showing the mothers on a two-city road with their sons, will be proud and happy. She was sure proud and happy (and emotional) during that trip.
We need this fellow at the top of his game with the very real possibility of Carey Price being run by some thug as the playoffs approach, or sometime during the postseason. Just like last year.
Memos should sent to all playoff-bound teams that the league knows teams are thinking about doing this, and if it happens, they’ll have the player’s balls for bookends. The coach’s too.
Tonight shows that Toker can get the job done, and that’s great, because we were starting to wonder.
The win puts the Habs at 95 points, tied with the Rangers for beasts of the East, while the Panthers’ hopes of grabbing the final wild card berth took a serious hit, especially with red-hot Ottawa, also trying to nail down a spot, sitting ahead of them.
The only complaint I can muster is seeing the boys sit back in the third, with most of the play in their end, and holding on for dear life. But they got the win so it’s forgotten already.