The Montreal Canadiens are not ready to concede the NHL Eastern Conference to the New York Rangers just yet.
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 book 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,'' said Montreal forward Max Pacioretty. ``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 the third time in these playoffs that the Canadiens have faced elimination and, 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 the gun 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 only 1-for-7 on the power play didn't help.