Habs force Game 6
MONTREAL (TSX) Rene Bourque recorded his first career postseason hat trick as host Montreal staved off elimination by winning Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.
Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty each scored and set up a goal, Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais also tallied and defenseman Andrei Markov notched three assists for the Canadiens.
Former Ranger Brandon Prust will be eligible to return for Game 6 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden after serving his two-game suspension for interference.
Chris Kreider collected a goal and three assists and Derek Stepan tallied twice in his return from a one-game absence due to a broken jaw for New York. Rick Nash scored and set up a goal for the Rangers, who split a pair of 3-2 overtime decisions at home in Games 3 and 4.
Bourque gave Montreal a 5-4 lead with 4:50 remaining in the second period as he wristed a shot from the slot that beat Cam Talbot (six saves), who relieved Henrik Lundqvist (four goals on 18 shots).
Bourque completed the hat trick 6:33 into the third, settling Dale Weise’s pass before chipping the puck over Talbot’s glove for his team-leading eighth goal. Desharnais sealed the win with a short-handed empty-net tally with 4:17 remaining in the session.
Bourque also scored from the doorstep at 6:54 of the second to give Montreal a 4-1 lead before New York forged a tie by tallying on three of its next four shots. Nash’s sharp-angle bid caromed off the stick of Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges at 9:48, Stepan cleaned up a rebound for his second goal of the game and Kreider tapped blue-liner Ryan McDonagh’s centering feed past Dustin Tokarski (23 saves) at 14:12 for a power-play tally.