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Canadiens vs Rangers

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Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Five reasons why the Canadiens were eliminated

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

When the Montreal Canadiens lost goaltender Carey Price for the duration of the Eastern Conference Final in Game 1 of the series, it was almost as if they received a built-in excuse to lose to the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens lost their best player, coach Michel Therrien said the day he announced his star goaltender's absence.

How could anyone reasonably expect a team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final missing its best player?

Except when looking at Montreal's loss in six games to the Rangers and looking for ways to explain it, goaltending would not appear on the list.

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Five reasons why the Rangers advanced

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

This time, the picture did tell the entire story.

After knocking off the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final and clinching a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, New York Rangers alternate captains Brad Richards, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal were summoned to greet NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and the Prince of Wales Trophy late Thursday.

The Rangers traded captain Ryan Callahan in early March. They don't have anybody who wears the "C" now, so they didn't have one person to adhere to the tradition of accepting the trophy from Daly.

The alternates were called up instead. They didn't go alone.

Richards waved to the rest of the Rangers, imploring them to join the party, and every player made the pilgrimage to Daly and the trophy. It was a fitting end to an emotionally charged series, and a sign of what the Rangers will need to win the Stanley Cup against either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings.

The Rangers are in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years because they came together as a team midway through the regular season and have played as one in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Moore's goal lifts Rangers to Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- In between taking the opening faceoff of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final and being sent out to secure a 1-0 win in the final seconds, Dominic Moore scored the deciding goal to send the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.

It was a standout performance for Moore, who will be going to the Cup Final for the first time in his 14-season career after the Rangers eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in six games Thursday. It's a special and very emotional way to punctuate a two-year period that saw him take a season off from hockey after his wife, Katie, died from fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer, on Jan. 7, 2013.

"I owe a lot to my teammates for helping me get through this last year and a half," the 33-year-old center said. "I feel tremendously proud to be a part of this team, especially amidst the circumstances going to the Stanley Cup Final."


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Canadiens provide no support for Tokarski

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens wanted to win this Eastern Conference Final for their goalie. They lost it by letting their other goalie down.

When Carey Price was lost for the series in Game 1, a 7-2 victory for the New York Rangers, the Canadiens hopes of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 21 years were essentially dashed in the minds of most.

The Canadiens, coming off their worst loss of these Stanley Cup Playoffs, said they wanted to win to give their superstar goaltender a chance to play again this season. But if there is one member of the Canadiens who can say he truly did that, it was the unknown figure who replaced Price.

Prior to this series Dustin Tokarski was best known to most hockey fans as the goaltender of the Canadian national junior team who drove hockey analyst Pierre McGuire to fits of enthusiasm at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships. He was too small to be an NHL goalie, too unorthodox in style.

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Rangers' Lundqvist only interested in looking ahead

Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 12:42 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has no interest in talking about Game 5.

Can you blame him?

He was pulled midway through the second period after giving up four goals on 19 shots at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Why would Lundqvist want to talk about that, especially on the morning of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), New York's second opportunity to clinch its first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994?

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

"All of you [the media] keep asking about the last game, but I don't think about the last game," Lundqvist said Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden. "I think about tonight."

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Ramsay: Canadiens' defense must stay aggressive

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 6:08 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Aggressive pinches from the point and defenseman joining the rush are necessities for the Montreal Canadiens if they want to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final, longtime NHL coach and player Craig Ramsay said.

The New York Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Ramsay said he thought the Canadiens' defensemen, particularly Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban, were effective when they pinched in Game 5. He thought their pinches put pressure on the Rangers and gave Montreal more offensive options.

Markov had three assists. Subban had an assist and was plus-3 with four shots on goal. The Canadiens won 7-4.


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Five things Rangers must do to clinch in Game 6

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 5:28 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers spent Wednesday traveling home and digesting one of their worst performances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all the while knowing they have another chance to accomplish something they haven't done in 20 years.

Technically the Rangers have two more chances to book a trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994, but they'll enter a Montreal minefield if they don't get it done Thursday at Madison Square Garden in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"It's a desperate time," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "You don't want to go back to a Game 7, where anything can happen."

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Manufacturing desperation problematic for Rangers

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 4:55 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers may have found the desperation they needed by seeing what happens when they don’t have it.

The Rangers departed for home Wednesday a day after squandering their first of up to three opportunities to advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a 7-4 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Rangers still lead the best-of-7 series 3-2, and if they want to avoid wasting their second chance to close it out, in Game 6 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), they will need to find a way to manufacture some of the desperation the Canadiens had Tuesday.

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Canadiens enjoy Bourque's strong playoff showing

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 3:00 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The difference between Rene Bourque's play for the Montreal Canadiens during the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been astounding.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien is enjoying Bourque's recent results and not concerned about explaining how the left wing's startlingly increased production has come about.

"Before solving Bourque's mystery, I'll let him play a bit more because he's on a roll," Therrien said Wednesday after the Canadiens held an optional practice at their suburban practice facility.

Bourque scored twice Tuesday to complete a hat trick after Montreal blew a 4-1 lead against the New York Rangers. The Canadiens won 7-4 in Game 5 at Bell Centre to stave off elimination for the third time in the playoffs.

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Bourque's hat trick helps Canadiens force Game 6

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 1:57 AM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- To say Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque had a difficult regular season would be putting things mildly.

Bourque was a lightning rod for criticism all season, hitting a new career-low for a full season with nine goals in 63 games. Coach Michel Therrien finally had enough in March, making Bourque a healthy scratch for six of the final 16 games of the regular season.

It would have been impossible to imagine entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs that Bourque would be a difference-maker for the Canadiens, but that is exactly what he has become.

For the first time since he came to the Canadiens in a trade with the Calgary Flames in 2012, Bourque has been a physical force, using his big body to create space for linemates and finding the finish that got him 27 goals in back-to-back seasons with Calgary.

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