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Canadiens' offensive stars need to step up in Game 6

by Arpon Basu

BOSTON -- Saturday began with Max Pacioretty saying he needed to find a way to make an impact for the Montreal Canadiens in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Boston Bruins.

It ended with him and many of his fellow teammates still looking for offense following a 4-2 loss in Game 5 that gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Defenseman P.K. Subban scored his fourth goal of the series at 17:31 of the third period to give the Canadiens a glimmer of hope, but the problem has become that the rest of the team has combined to score nine goals in five games, seven at even strength.

"We have to be better 5-on-5," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.

Pacioretty and David Desharnais have three assists between them in the series, all on the power play. Thomas Vanek has one shot on goal in his past two games. Even the always reliable Tomas Plekanec had an icing that led to the Bruins opening goal in Game 5 and was in the penalty box for each of Boston's power-play goals that came 32 seconds apart early in the second and essentially iced the game.

"He's a veteran guy that's been around and been a great player for this team for many years," defenseman Josh Gorges said of Plekanec. "There's not much you have to say to him, he knows and he bounced back. He always plays well for us, so we're not too worried about that."

The Canadiens have not scored an even-strength goal on Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in nearly 150 minutes of play (147:27), a streak that is still running heading into Game 6 on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Canadiens will need some of their offensive stars to snap that skid and start producing if they want to force a Game 7 back in Boston on Wednesday.

"I still think we're in a good spot," Subban said. "We're going back home. That's the barn. You know it's going to be loud. You know it's going to be full of energy. We're going to be ready to play. That's for sure. This one stings a little bit. We had an opportunity to take a stranglehold on the series and we didn't. We have to give them credit.

"At the same token, my experiences in the playoffs, when we've had success facing elimination, it's fun. It's fun hockey. You know we're going to bring our 'A' game next game, that's for sure."

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