NHL

Tokarski starts Game 3; Therrien puts Vanek on fourth line

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TSN.ca Staff
5/21/2014 4:38:33 PM
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Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien isn't giving up on Dustin Tokarski, announcing that the 24-year-old goaltender will get the start again in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Tokarski, who had played in three games earlier in the regular season, allowed three goals on 30 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers in his playoff debut on Monday. 

Therrien also sent a message to Thomas Vanek to pick up his game, rotating the struggling winger on the fourth line at Wednesday's practice with Michael Bournival, Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust at practice.

Vanek, who has four goals in the second round against the Boston Bruins, has been held off the scoresheet in Montreal's first two games of the Eastern Conference Final. The Canadiens had 41 shots on Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2, with none from Vanek. He had only one shot in their 7-2 loss in Game 1.

Therrien told reporters not to read into it as it all could change again ahead of Game 3. "One thing, the (Tomas) Plekanec line needs to give us more," he said. "I'm ready to stick sometimes with combinations and with three guys working together as long as I see results.

"Sometimes the results are not there but the chances are there. But if I see there are no chances, not much happening, now I'm at a point where I have to make some decisions. Hopefully by making some changes, something's going to happen."

Max Pacioretty came to Vanek's defence, noting how difficult it can be to score in the postseason. "In playoffs it's even harder," he said. "If you walked into one of (the Rangers) meetings, they'll talk about a guy like Thomas Vanek and they talk about him around the net and having to play physical on him. Being expected to deliver every night, it's impossible and you've seen it in these playoffs with numerous stories of different players.

"All you can ask now is, if they're not contributing offensively, is to help out in other areas. He's a great guy in the room as well. He's helped me, especially through my slump. There's other areas you can contribute. It's not just on the scoreboard."

With Vanek sliding down to the fourth line, winger Dale Weise moved up to the third line and Brian Gionta was bumped up to the second with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk.

Wednesday's Practice Lines:

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Gionta
Bourque - Eller - Weise
Prust/Bournival - Brière - Vanek
Moen - White - Parros

Markov - Emelin
Gorges - Subban
Beaulieu - Weaver
Murray - Bouillon

Tokarski
Budaj

PP1:

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Markov - Subban

PP2:

Brière - Eller - Vanek
Beaulieu - Weaver



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