The Canadiens will still have their backs against the wall when the puck drops for Game 6 against the Rangers Thursday night in New York. The Habs still trail in the series 3 games to 2 after a big win in Montreal on Tuesday.
The Canadiens chased Henrik Lundqvist from the Ranger goal after he allowed 4 goals on 19 shots. New York did manage to draw the game even at 4 after that, but the Habs scored the next 3 to cruise to a 7-4 victory. Rene Bourque scored his first playoff hat trick in Game 5 and Andrei Markov pitched in with 3 assists. Chris Kreider had a goal and 3 assists in the losing effort.
Game 6 starts at 8:00 on Thursday and can be seen on RDS and CBC.
What to Watch:
The Canadiens were able to assert their will offensively in Game 5 for the first time this series. Bourque's hat trick gave him 4 goals and 6 points against the Rangers, despite playing under 13 minutes per game on average. Max Pacioretty picked up a goal and an assist in Game 5, giving him 5 points and goals in each of Montreal's 3 elimination games these playoff.
Derek Stepan returned to the Ranger lineup on Tuesday after missing Game 4 with a broken jaw. Stepan picked up 2 goals in Game 5, extending his point streak to 6 games with 3 goals and 9 points in that span. With 13 points in the postseason, Stepan is tied with Martin St. Louis for most points on the Rangers. St. Louis was held pointless in Game 5 for the first time in this series.
What's at Stake:
The Canadiens survived their third elimination match of these playoffs on Tuesday but they must still win two more games against the Rangers starting Thursday night.
Also at stake is the potential return of Carey Price. Price has been ruled out for Game 6 but it looks like he might be ready for a return before the Stanley Cup is raised. For now, it's up to the rest of the team to stay alive until then.
Price (knee) was joined on the sidelines by Alexei Emelin (undisclosed) in Game 5. Emelin was leading the team in blocked shots (44) and hits (52) before the puck dropped on Tuesday. Dale Weise was shaken up by John Moore and spent time in the dark room during Tuesday's game but returned in time to finish with his teammates.
The Rangers are missing J.T. Miller (upper body), while Derek Stepan (jaw) and Derick Brassard are playing through injuries. John Moore and Daniel Carcillo are both serving suspensions and won't return this series.
With their win on Tuesday, the Canadiens are now having their most successful playoffs since their last Cup win in 1993. The Canadiens are up to 10 playoff wins so far this season, the only other time they've made the Conference Finals in the past 20 years they were beaten in 5 games by the Flyers. Aside from their run in 2010, the Canadiens have won 31 playoff games and just 4 other playoff series in the past 20 years.
The Question Mark:
Tell us what you think:
How do the Habs recreate Game 5's results on the road in Game 6?
Let us know by sending us your answers on Twitter using the #MTLHockey hashtag, or leave a comment below.
The Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show starts an hour before puck drop, join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter. And don’t miss the Post Game Show starting 5 minutes after the final siren.