A hat-trick from Rene Bourque saw the Canadiens prevail in game five of the series at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Tuesday, with the home side scoring the last three goals to triumph after earlier giving up a 4-1 lead.
When Bourque scored his first goal early in the second period, Montreal looked to be cruising but the Rangers were level within eight minutes to give their hosts something to worry about.
The visitors would have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup finals with a victory but the Canadiens responded with Bourque scoring either side of the second break before David Desharnais’ short-handed goal with just over four minutes remaining sealed the win for Montreal.
The Rangers lead 3-2 in the series ahead game six in New York, while game seven – if required – will be held in Montreal.
The home side started brilliantly with Alex Galchenyuk scoring in a power-play situation after just one minute and 48 seconds.
Derek Stepan equalised for New York just past the midpoint of the first period but Montreal led at the opening break thanks to Tomas Plekanec’s goal.
Max Pacioretty made it 3-1 in the fourth minute of the second period before Rene Bourque extended the Canadiens’ lead further three minutes later but a blitz from the visitors, including goals from Rick Nash, Stepan again and Chris Kreider, made the score 4-4.
Within a minute, however, Bourque sent Montreal ahead again and the left winger completed his hat-trick in the seventh minute of the final period before Desharnais capped off the win.
The Rangers are looking to reach their first Stanley Cup series since 1994 when they were crowned NHL champions, while Montreal won the title the year before and have not been to the last dance of the season since.
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