Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals Game Five: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens

2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Finals – Game #5

New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens
Rangers Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Bell Centre – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Opening Line: New York -115 / Montreal -105
Current Line: Montreal -115 / New York -105
Opening Total: under 5 -120 / over 5 +100
Current Total: under 5 -120 / over 5 +100

The Montreal Canadiens look to avoid elimination in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers.
The Montreal Canadiens look to avoid elimination in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers are up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since they last won the Cup in 1994. Montreal tries to stave off elimination in game five Tuesday night at home. New York knows the series is far from over because the Rangers came back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the last round of the playoffs.

New York won the first two games in Montreal 7-2 and 3-1. The teams split the two games in New York, with each team taking a 3-2 win in overtime, Montreal in game three and New York in game four Sunday night.

New York scored first in game four, 7 minutes in on a shorthanded goal by Carl Hagelin, assisted by Brian Boyle and Ryan McDonagh. Montreal tied it up 8 minutes into the second period on a goal from Francis Bouillon, assisted by David Desharnais and Rene Bourque. The Rangers regained the lead with just under a minute to go in the second on a goal from Derick Brassard assisted by Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist. Brassard returned to the line-up after missing the previous two games with an upper body injury suffered in game one of this series.

P.K. Subban tied it up for Montreal two minutes into the third on a power play goal assisted by Andrei Markov and Desharnais. It was the first power play goal New York had given up in 27 times on the penalty kill, dating back to game two of the Penguins series. Neither team would score again in regulation, and the two teams went to overtime for the second straight game. Martin St. Louis scored the game winner six minutes into the first overtime assisted by Hagelin and Brad Richards.

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves on 29 shots. He recorded his 41st postseason win tying Mike Richter’s franchise record. Lundqvist also recorded the first postseason point in his career on the assist on Brassard’s goal. Montreal goalie Dustin Tokarski made his third straight start in place of the injured Carey Price. Tokarski made 26 saves on 29 shots. He has kept Montreal in all three games with a chance to win, but they have lost 2 of those games.

New York was 0 for 3 on the power play, and Montreal was 1 for 8. The Rangers won 48 faceoffs to the Canadiens 31.

New York is coached by Alain Vigneault. The Rangers are 56-38-3-3 this season and the total was 30-41-11 during the regular season. Montreal is coached by Michel Therrien.  The Canadiens are 55-34-5-3 this season and the total was 28-42-12 during the regular season.

In the playoffs, New York is outscoring teams 2.72-2.11. The Rangers are 8th of the 16 playoff teams in scoring but are first in goals against. The Rangers are outshooting teams 29.3-28.6 in the playoffs. New York is 10 for 70 on the power play during the playoffs (14.3%). New York has allowed two short handed goals and scored one. The Rangers are at 86.2% on the penalty kill and has allowed 8 power play goals. New York is 47.8% on face-offs.

Lundqvist has a 1.98 goals against average in the playoffs with a save percentage of .931. He has allowed 35 goals and faced 506 shots. Lundqvist has an 11-7 record in the playoffs.

Right wing Martin St. Louis has 13 points with 6 goals and 7 assists. Right wing Mats Zuccarello has 11 points with 7 assists. Center Derek Stepan has 11 points with 8 assists. Stepan missed game four after suffering a broken jaw in game three, but is probable for game five.  Center Brad Richards has 5 goals and 6 assists. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh has 10 points with 7 assists. Left wing Carl Hagelin has 10 points with 6 goals. Left wing Benoit Pouilot has 8 points with 5 assists. LW Rick Nash has 8 points with 6 assists. Derick Brassard has 8 points with 5 goals in the playoffs. LW Daniel Carcillo is suspended indefinitely for elbowing an official in game three.

Montreal is outscoring teams 2.93-2.73 in the playoffs. The Canadiens are fourth in goals scored and eighth in goals allowed. Montreal is averaging 30.1 shots per game and giving up 30.9 per game. The Canadiens are 11/55 on the power play (20%). Montreal is 77.5% on the penalty kill and has allowed 9 power play goals. The Canadiens have scored two short handed goals and allowed two this post-season. Montreal is 47.4% on face-offs.

Price had a GAA of 2.36 in the playoffs with a .919 save percentage. He has one shutout. Price has allowed 29 goals in 358 shots this post-season. Price was 8-4 in the playoffs. Peter Budaj played in the third period of game one after the Price injury but gave up 3 goals in 8 shots. Tokarski will continue to start, but Budaj could see some action if the young goalie struggles. Tokarski has a goal against average of 2.63 with a .917 save percentage. He has allowed 8 goals in 96 shots faced. Tokarski is 1-2 in the playoffs.

Defenseman P.K. Subban has 13 points for the Canadiens with 8 assists. Center Lars Eller has 11 points with 5 goals and six assists. Right wing Brendan Gallagher has 10 points with 6 assists. LW Thomas Vanek has 9 points with 5 goals. LW Max Pacioretty has 9 points with 4 goals. Center Tomas Plekanec has 8 points with 5 assists. Left wing Rene Bourque has 8 points with 5 goals. Center Daniel Briere has 7 points with 4 assists. Left wing Brandon Prust is serving the second game of a two game suspension for the hit in game three that broke Stepan’s jaw.

New York is 4-0 in road games, on one day rest, and against teams with winning home records, 6-1 against teams with winning records, overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 5-1 in Tuesday games, 4-1 after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game and after a win, and 13-6 against Atlantic Division teams. The road team is 5-2 in this series recently. The under is 8-1-4 in this series recently and 7-1-2 in Montreal.

Montreal is 6-1 in Tuesday games, 10-3 after scoring 2 goals or less in the previous game, 10-4 on one day rest, 9-4 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less in the previous game, 17-8 against Eastern Conference teams, 2-5 against Metropolitan Division teams, and 1-5 in conference finals games. The Canadiens are 9-3 in Montreal in the last 12 against the Rangers.

Tokarski has played really well, but the Rangers are getting most of the breaks in this series. New York was luck to win game 4 having given up 8 power play chances. If new York can avoid the penalty box, then I think the Rangers close it out tonight.

Our hockey handicappers are red hot in the playoffs. Don’t miss out on anymore winners.



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