MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers failed to take advantage of their first opportunity to make it to the Stanley Cup Final in 20 years on Tuesday. Fortunately for them, they have two more chances to beat the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final.
New York lost 7-4 to Montreal in Game 5 at Bell Centre, but the Rangers hold a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Trailing 4-1, New York coach Alain Vigneault pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist before the midway point of the second period. Cam Talbot made his second relief appearance of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Rangers rallied to tie it 4-4 before Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque scored twice to complete a hat trick and David Desharnais scored into an empty net with 4:17 remaining in the third.
"We made a lot of mistakes and were lucky it was only 2-1 after the first period," Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis said. "We fought hard in the second. That's hockey sometimes. They're a good team on the other side. We had to expect them to come hard, and we struggled to adapt."