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“We played really well, but we just have to forget about it, move on, and get ready for the next one,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said.

Montreal was poised to win it in regulation after Briere scored. Kreider tied it when his shot hit the sliding right skate of defenseman Alexei Emelin in the crease and caromed past Tokarski, who thrust his head upward in disgust as the Garden shook.

“They tied it with 20 seconds left, and it was an emotional game,” Galchenyuk said. “It was tough coming back in the locker room, but we focused. We have a character team, and we bounced back.”

Tokarski is playing because of a series-ending injury sustained by Price, who was barreled into by Kreider in Game 1.

Briere’s goal was also aided by an opposing defenseman, as Ryan McDonagh nudged the puck past Lundqvist.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov tied it at 1 for the Canadiens in the second period after Carl Hagelin staked New York to the lead in the first. Lundqvist made 22 saves.

The Rangers grabbed the lead in the first period that featured only one goal but hardly lacked for action.

By the time Hagelin put New York in front with a batted shot, there had already been one injury as the result of a questionable open-ice hit by Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan, and an ejection after Daniel Carcillo sought revenge on Prust - a former Rangers fan favorite - for his leveling of Stepan.

Prust landed a blindsided shot to Stepan’s chest with his shoulder 4:48 in, knocking down Stepan, who remained on the ice for several moments before skating off. Stepan returned later in the period. Prust heard boos the rest of the game.

Carcillo’s night ended about three minutes later when he rammed Prust from behind in back of the Canadiens net. Carcillo earned a penalty for charging, and Prust then fought Derek Dorsett. Carcillo tried to get free from linesman Scott Driscoll to join the fray, and elbowed Driscoll in the process and was ejected.

He now could face a lengthy NHL suspension.

“He can’t do what he did there, but we’ll let the league handle that,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “I believe if a penalty would have been called on Prust, it probably wouldn’t have happened, but there is nothing we can do about it.”

The Rangers killed the penalty, and then got on the board.

Hagelin raced up ice on a 2-on-1 with St. Louis and sent a pass to him on the right. St. Louis fired a quick shot that was blocked in the crease by defenseman Josh Gorges, but the puck popped up. Hagelin deftly batted it in for his fifth of the playoffs - tied for the team lead - with 4:42 left in the first.

New York used its speed to build a 14-4 shots edge in the opening period.

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