RSS Feeds

Canadiens surge past Rangers 7-4, force Game 6

Wednesday - 5/28/2014, 4:36pm  ET

Montreal Canadiens' Rene Bourque, rear, celebrates with teammate P.K. Subban after scoring against the New York Rangers during the third period of Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens are not ready to concede the Eastern Conference title to the New York Rangers.

Rene Bourque scored three goals and the Canadiens chased star goalie Henrik Lundqvist from the game as they defeated the Rangers 7-4 on Tuesday to stave off elimination.

The Rangers, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, will have another chance to earn a trip to the Stanley Cup final in Game 6 on Thursday night in New York.

"I think you're starting to see us playing Montreal Canadiens hockey," Montreal forward Max Pacioretty said. "I don't think you've really seen it in this series just yet.

"It was great to see a little taste of it. I think we still have more. I think we still have little things to work on. And it should be a fun one going back there."

Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec and Pacioretty also scored for Montreal, which outshot the Rangers 28-27.

Derek Stepan, playing with a guard on his helmet to protect a broken jaw suffered from a Brandon Prust hit in Game 3, returned to the lineup to score twice for the Rangers. Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists and Rick Nash also scored.

"It was just a strange game," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was a different game from what we've seen so far in the series, but now we're going home."

It was the third time in these playoffs that the Canadiens have faced elimination.

As they did after falling behind 3-2 to Boston in the conference semifinals, they came up with their best hockey to stay alive.

Pacioretty feels that being under pressure helps his team focus.

"There's a lot of distractions and noise in this city and I think that when we let it affect us and we don't worry about ourselves and what we can control we get away from our game a bit," he said.

"Now that we're in desperation mode and our backs are against the wall, we're just worrying about what we can control.

"When we get four lines buzzing like that and play the way we're capable of we have a lot of success. Hopefully we can do that next game."

The Rangers weren't facing the same desperation and spent the game trying to play catch-up. Going 1 for 7 on the power play didn't help.

Neither did getting an ordinary game from the often extraordinary Lundqvist.

He let in four goals on only 19 shots before he was pulled at 8:58 of the second period in favor of Cam Talbot.

"I pulled him because I thought at that time we needed a little momentum shift, and I thought it might catch everybody's attention," Vigneault said. "It did for a while. Obviously it didn't work out."

Montreal's Dustin Tokarski, starting a fourth game since Carey Price was injured in the series opener, allowed four on his first 14 shots, but then made some big saves in the third to preserve the win.

It prompted a bold observation from Bourque.

"Everybody talks about how (Lundqvist) is a great goalie: Has he been better than (Tokarski) this series?" Bourque asked. "I don't think so.

"(Tokarski) made some big saves for us too. We had a couple bad bounces but our power play was the difference. We got some traction, got a couple goals in tight."

Bourque's second goal proved to be the winner and came just after the Rangers came back to tie the game at 4-4 in the second period.

"Everybody was ready for this game," Bourque said. "We knew the situation.

"It was just a see-saw battle back and forth. (Dale) Weise made a great play to me. I called for the puck and somehow it got through. It was nice to get in there."

Bourque has been a different player in the postseason than he was while scoring only nine goals in 63 games in the regular season.

"It's easy to sit back and get down on yourself after giving up that lead, but coming out right away and putting that in the top corner, that's the difference in the game," Pacioretty said. "It was a huge boost for us."

At 10:41 of the third, Rangers defenseman John Moore was given a major penalty and was ejected for a blindside, open ice hit on Dale Weise that was similar to Prust's hit on Stepan.

Weise was wobbly when he got up and went for treatment, but returned to the bench late in the period.

   1 2  -  Next page  >>