Canadiens beat Rangers to stay in Stanley Cup
(Reuters) - Rene Bourque scored a hat-trick as the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 7-4 in a high-scoring thriller on Tuesday to stay alive in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference finals.
Needing to win to avoid elimination in the best-of-seven series, the Canadiens won a wild and ill-tempered Game Five to reduce the deficit to 3-2 and retain some hope of reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 21 years.
The next game will be in New York on Thursday with the eventual winner to play either the Los Angeles Kings or the Chicago Blackhawks for the NHL championship.
"Sometimes it seems that wherever you're going the puck seems to be following you," said Bourque.
"My linemates did a great job of getting the puck to me and we had a lot of shots on net."
Montreal got off to a flying start on home ice when Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk tipped in a slap shot from PK Subban to score inside the first two minutes from a power-play after New York's Chris Kreider was sent to the penalty box for tripping.
That goal set the tone for a chaotic slugfest between the two Original Six rivals with the Rangers leveling the game midway through the opening period when Derek Stepan, who was recalled despite suffering a broken jaw in Game Three, scoring from a wrist shot.
The Habs regained the lead two minutes later when Tomas Plekanec snapped a shot past New York's unsighted goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to end the first period 2-1 in front.
There were six goals, three from each team, in a crazy second period that ended with Montreal leading 5-4. Continued...