"Yeah, I was," he said. "I looked up and I had no clue he was going to hang out over there on the right side, so I just threw the puck over there. There was no one in between us. It was an easy pass and he had a lot of time once he got it, too. He walked in and ripped it, top cheese."
It put an end to the most evenly played game of the series. The Habs were just as full value on this night and were inches away from making this a tied series when Alex Galchenyuk 's shot from the slot hit the crossbar with around three minutes left in the third period. That close.
"I'm disappointed, I could have ended the game right there and it would have been 2-2 heading back to Montreal," said Galchenyuk, who played a terrific game. "Unfortunately, we lost, but I can't overthink about that play. I have to try to make a difference next game."
Once P.K. Subban tied it 2-2 with a power-play blast two minutes into the third period, the Canadiens really had the better chances the rest of the way, including in overtime. But Henrik Lundqvist once again stood tall in net for the Rangers, who also overcame giving the Habs eight power-play chances on the night.
"We played a pretty decent game, and we've just got to keep building," said Canadiens captain Brian Gionta. "As this series has gone on, we've gotten better, we've been able to get more chances. Obviously, we would have liked to get that win, but we're not out of this yet."
No, but you have the feeling that the Canadiens' best shot at winning this series was responding to the Rangers' two wins at the Bell Centre by sweeping Games 3-4 at Madison Square Garden. Just imagine the momentum going back to Montreal and the crowd Tuesday night in the NHL's most passionate building.
Instead, it's a crushing loss for Montreal, one that came before the Canadiens scored only once on those eight power plays. For the Rangers, it's a big-time swing in the series.
"Very emotional," said Richards. "Overtime games bring that out any way. To come home and not [win] would've been devastating. To go back up there without getting a win at home, two tight games that could've gone either way, still got a lot of work to do, but I'd rather it be 3-1 than 2-2, so very emotional when I saw that go in."
For the Canadiens, how many more times can they dig deep again? Yes, two of the next three games are at the Bell Centre, but this is a mighty daunting task.
"But it's not over yet; there's lots of hockey left to be played and we've just got to be prepared to go home and have a good game," said Subban, who played a crazy 33:16 on the night. "I've been down 3-1 in a series before and the tide can turn real quick. We're prepared to go home and play a good game."