Skip to content

Bourque’s hat trick helps Habs survive a wild Game 5

May 27, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT

As it turns out, this Montreal Canadiens – New York Rangers series is just too wild, wonderful and weird to end in five games.

The Canadiens rode Rene Bourque‘s hat trick and some video game-level scoring, defense and goaltending to beat the Rangers 7-4 in Game 5. This series shifts to Madison Square Garden with the Rangers up 3-2.

Bourque now has eight goals in this postseason after scoring just nine in the regular season:

Normally a two-goal game from a returning Derek Stepan would be the story of the game, yet this was not an ordinary contest, even in an exciting postseason.

The Habs are now 3-0 in elimination games in the playoffs. The Rangers have won every elimination game they needed to gain, yet they haven’t made things easy for themselves. If they lose in Game 6, they’d face the unpleasant thought of a third seven-game series in the 2014 postseason.

Goaltending will be one of the top stories to watch in Game 6. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled midway through the second period only to see a Rangers surge that left Dustin Tokarski unsettled. Still, Tokarski made enough saves to hold onto the win … though it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be in net on Thursday.

It was a game in which past storylines resurfaced. The Canadiens’ power play broke through with a 1-0 goal after taking advantage of yet another bonehead penalty by the Rangers:

There was plenty of discussion about embellishment in Game 4, which obviously registered with the officials. Remarkably, the Rangers gained a power play after Tomas Plekanec drew a rare embellishment penalty that didn’t also come with a matching minor for his opponents.

The Rangers managed to tie the game briefly thanks to that opportunity, but it wouldn’t last. Bourque’s 5-4 goal stood as the game-winner while the Habs added to their lead in a third period that turned violent.

The game concluded with some ugliness, especially with John Moore‘s match penalty elbowing hit on Dale Weise, who may or may not be injured:

Lars Eller delivered a hit that might get some mild criticism in its own right. After that, Derek Dorsett ruffled more than a few feathers with his behavior late in the game, which might just spark the war of words between these two teams.

Again, this game really had just about everything. Even with all of those lowlights for the goalies, Tokarski managed to make a beauty of a save and some big stops that will likely get lost in the larger narrative of their struggles.

It’s anyone’s guess how Game 6 will play out at Madison Square Garden, but it will be tough to top tonight’s game. Then again, this has been one of the most remarkable series of a remarkable postseason, so it would be foolish to guarantee that we’ve already seen the best of the Eastern Conference finals.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: New Jersey re-signs Timmins

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers

    Acquired last season in exchange for Krys Barch.

  2. Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D

    Jul 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

    PK Subban Getty Images

    “We haven’t approached it in that respect.”

  3. NHL hit with another concussion lawsuit

    Jul 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    bettmangetty Getty Images

    This time, it features just one plaintiff — former Bruin Jon Rohloff.

  4. Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension

    Jul 30, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Alternate captain notched a career-high in goals last year.

  5. Contract talks stalled between Kuemper, Wild

    Jul 30, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Darcy Kuemper AP

    “Usually this isn’t the time to fight for the big contract.”

  6. New Red Wings assistant ‘couldn’t be happier’ to get opportunity to work under Babcock

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

    Tri City Americans v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    Jim Hiller is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Todd McLellan, Paul MacLean, and Bill Peters.

  7. Not ready to hang ‘em up? Selanne considering return to Jokerit

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

    Teemu Selanne of Finland (8) takes a victory lap around the ice with his medal after he men's bronze medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Finland defeated the United States 5-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) AP

    Finnish club is moving to the KHL next season.

  8. Habs add Lacroix and Ramage to coaching staff

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game One Getty Images

    That’s Lacroix, when he was an assistant for Tampa Bay.

  9. Red Wings hire two more coaches for Babcock’s staff

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

    Mike Babcock Getty Images

    Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer join Tony Granato, who’s also new.

  10. Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    P.K. Subban AP

    Will this all get settled before Friday’s hearing?

  11. PHT Morning Skate: Dustin Brown vs. the FedEx delivery guy

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dustin Brown Getty Images

    Kings captain meets Rangers fan. Hi-jinx ensue.

  12. Report: Sabres owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Terry Pegula AP

    Now battling Bon Jovi and Donald Trump!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches