In a sloppily played game that resembled nothing of the way a playoff game should be played, the Montreal Canadiens managed to stave off elimination for at least a couple of days with a 7-4 win over the New York Rangers. The win closes the Rangers lead to 3-2, and will have a chance to finish the Habs on home ice.
Rene Bourque‘s hat trick was the difference as the Canadiens lived to play another day. His second of the game was the go-ahead goal and stemmed the momentum of the Rangers less than a minute after they had tied the game at 4. He then added an insurance marker 6 and a half minutes into the third for the hat trick. David Desharnais added an empty netter.
Montreal never trailed, although the did blow a 4-1 lead, and gave up 3 straight goals after chasing Henrik Lundqvist from the net. They allowed 3 goals in less than 5 minutes after working hard to build the 3 goal margin.
The Habs started early, getting a first minute power play and capitalizing on it. Alex Galchenyuk tipped home P.K. Subban‘s point blast and the Canadiens were up by a goal. Derek Stepan, making his return after suffering a broken jaw in game 3, tied it up just past the midway point of the first. The Montreal Canadiens responded quickly, with Tomas Plekanec wiring a wrist shot past Lundqvist less than 2 minutes later.
Max Pacioretty and Bourque extended the lead in the second, making it 4-1, chasing Lundqvist after allowing 4 goals on 14 shots. The Rangers seemed to get a spark from the goalie switch and Risk Nash, Stepan and Chris Kreider scored in a span of 4:24 to get even. They couldn’t sustain that momentum and Bourque took over with his 7th and 8th goals of the playoffs, nearly matching the 9 he scored in the regular season.
Game 6 goes at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.