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Carey Price had been having a sensational year.
He led Canada to a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics and had two sensational playoff rounds against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins.
He was one of the primary reasons the Canadiens were considered the favorites as the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers got underway.
However, Price was knocked out of the series in the first game after Rangers forward Chris Kreider crashed into him in the second period. Since the Canadiens were losing badly after 40 minutes and the collision did not appear especially violent, Therrien's decision to relieve Price for the third period did not seem eventful.
That changed Monday morning. "Carey Price won't be able to play, not only for tonight but for the rest of the series," Therrien reported at his morning press meeting (h/t TSN.ca). "Really disappointed. He's our best player. We need to rally around Carey. We need to give him a chance to play again this season."
The Canadiens went with Tokarski as Price's replacement instead of backup Peter Budaj. Tokarski had played in 10 previous NHL games, compared to 296 for Budaj.
While Budaj would have been the choice based solely on experience, he has a brutal postseason history. Budaj had a 5.10 goals-against average and an .843 save percentage in seven previous postseason appearances.
Tokarski could not lead the Habs to a victory in Game 2, but he stopped 27 of 30 New York shots and was relatively solid.
"I thought he was awesome," Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher told Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. "He made a lot big saves to keep it 3-1 and allow us to make the chase at the end."