MONTREAL — Rene Bourque scored three goals and the Montreal Canadiens chased goalie Henrik Lundqvist in defeating the New York Rangers 7-4 on Tuesday to stave off elimination in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Rangers, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, will have another chance to earn a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in Game 6 on Thursday night in New York.
Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal, which outshot the Rangers 28-27.
“That was a lot of fun,” Pacioretty said. “We came out strong. That’s a group effort. Everyone contributed tonight, and that’s makes it more special.”
Derek Stepan, playing with a guard on his helmet to protect a broken jaw suffered from a Brandon Prust hit in Game 3, returned to the lineup to score twice for the Rangers. Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists and Rick Nash also scored.
“It was a different game than what we’ve had so far in this series,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.It was a night of strange bounces and spotty goaltending, and Lundqvist was pulled in favor of Cam Talbot after allowing four goals on 19 shots. Montreal netminder Dustin Tokarski stayed in despite allowing four on his first 14.
Only 22 seconds in, New York’s Chris Kreider was sent off for tripping, and the Canadiens converted when Galchenyuk tipped in P.K. Subban’s point shot from the edge of the crease at 1:48.
Derek Stepan tied it at 10:44 of the first on a 30-foot shot off a rush that fooled Tokarski. Plekanec restored the lead with a similar goal at 12:24 as he swiped the puck between two defenders and beat Lundqvist.
The second period had even more scoring.
Pacioretty got it started on a nice pass from Brendan Gallagher at 3:44 and Bourque gave Montreal a three-goal lead when he spun and scored from close range, chasing Lundqvist.
Rick Nash whipped a puck at the Montreal net and had it go in off defenseman Andrei Markov’s skate at 9:48.
Stepan got his second in a mass scramble in front of Tokarski at 12:06, and Kreider tied it on a power play at 14:12 on a tic-tac-toe play after Subban lost his stick.
Bourque got his second at 15:10, then completed the hat trick in the third period.
Desharnais scored into an empty net during a New York power play at 15:43.
The Canadiens scored seven goals in a playoff game for the first time since beating the Hartford Whalers 7-4 on April 27, 1992.At 10:41 of the third, Rangers defenseman John Moore was given a major penalty and was ejected for a blindside, open-ice hit on Dale Weise. Weise was wobbly when he got up and went for treatment, but returned to the bench late in the period.