If this was Montreal’s last game at the Bell Centre this season, it didn’t lack in excitement. Montreal chased Henrik Lundqvist
with four goals on 18 shots, then promptly surrendered their second period three
goal lead before re-establishing that three goal lead to win 7-4 and push the
series to Game 6 in New York. Madness.
Montreal made one lineup change as Nathan Beaulieu re-entered the lineup for Alexei Emelin
who didn’t play due to what Michel Therrien called, "a body injury." The
Canadiens were given a powerplay 22 seconds in on a Chris Kreider trip, which saw Alex Galchenyuk get a piece of a P.K. Subban point shot at the 1:48 mark of the period for the 1-0 lead. Montreal dominated the first half of the period and Dustin Tokarski made big saves the few times he needed to, highlighted by robbing Carl Hagelin on a two-on-one.
Derek Stepan, back after missing a game with a broken jaw, scored on a long shot as he stepped over the blue line, beating Tokarski low on the blocker side at 10:44 to tie it up 1-1. Tomas Plekanec restored the lead less than two minutes later, snapping a quick shot past Lundqvist on a quick breakout play. David Desharnais took a penalty with less than two minutes to play in the period but Montreal would preserve their 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
New York opened the second period with 34 seconds of powerplay time but did nothing with it. Andrei Markov would give them a second crack on the powerplay 30 seconds later after being whistled for interference on Martin St. Louis, but New York could not break through. Brendan Gallagher then made a great pass to Max Pacioretty, who would beat Lundqvist at 3:44 into the second period for a 3-1 lead. Mats Zuccarello took a goaltender interference penalty a minute later and Rene Bourque would make it 4-1 seconds after the penalty expired.
Cam Talbot replaced Lundqvist before the midway point of the period and New York would pull one back at 9:48 as Rick Nash shot one off Josh Gorges’ stick past Tokarski. Stepan scored again on some sloppy
defence by Montreal at 12:06 in the second period, making it a 4-3 game. Plekanec then took a penalty for
embellishment leading to the tying goal by Kreider on the powerplay with over five minutes to play. Bourque re-established Montreal’s lead less than a minute later in a wild period. Benoit Pouliot took a penalty late in the period and despite good pressure,
the Habs could not add to their 5-4 lead headed into break.
Montreal couldn’t take advantage of the final 36 seconds in the Pouliot penalty to start the third period. Bourque nearly got his hat-trick, tipping a shot off the post. But he would get his third at 6:33 on a nice feed from Dale Weise, as he roofed it on Talbot’s glove side, making it 6-4 Montreal. Josh Gorges was called for interference at 7:19, then Francis Bouillon was whistled at 8:46 for holding, giving New York a 5-on-3 advantage for 33 seconds, culminating with a big Tokarski save as Gorges exited the box.
Tokarski continued to stifle the Rangers on the powerplay before John Moore was called for elbowing, receiving five minutes and a game misconduct, for blindsiding Weise. Weise would leave for the dressing room, visibly shaky, but returned late in the period. Montreal was dormant for much of the powerplay, with the rest negated by a Lars Eller holding call at 14:11 in the third period. Talbot was pulled for an offensive zone faceoff at the tail end of the 4-on-4, but Montreal won the faceoff, Pacioretty broke out and flipped it up for Desharnais to tap in, making it 7-4. The net remained empty as Eller’s penalty ticked off, but Eller promptly took another penalty, giving New York a 6-on-4. Montreal would go on to kill the penalty and wind the game down, sending it back to New York for
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star – Rene Bourque
An all around great game by Bourque, obviously highlighted by a hat-trick, but he did his job physically and was involved throughout the game.
It could’ve been four or five goals as he hit a post and just missed an empty net.
3 goals -0 assists – +3 rating – 4 shots – 4 hits – 0 takeaways – 12:21 TOI
2nd Star – Dustin Tokarski
Not very convincing on the first goal but he made some ridiculous saves during the game and the third period belonged to him. He kept his poise and grinded out the result under the Montreal and media microscope.
23 saves on 27 shots – .852 save percentage – 4.00 GAA
3rd Star – Dale Weise
A great pass on Bourque’s third goal but the real contribution was his presence on the ice. He was engaged, hitting hard, finishing plays, strong shorthanded presence, just an all around good game. Made it back to the ice after the Moore hit, which was great to see.
0 goals – 2 assists – +2 rating – 0 shots – 4 hits – 0 takeaways – 11:21 TOI
Andrei Markov. While he made some real questionable plays, mostly misjudging his pinches, he was the general on the back-end. He’s throwing the body, making the right plays and contributing offensively.
0 goals – 3 assists – +1 rating – 2 shots – 2 hits – 0 takeaways – 25:21 TOI
Stat of the Night
19. That’s Montreal’s blocked shots counter. New York had 7. Mike Weaver had 5 alone. Lundqvist might have appreciated a little more effort in that department,
it could’ve been the difference.