Liveblog: Conference Final Game 5 – Canadiens win wild one to stay alive


A wild one at the Bell

Even at inflated playoff prices, the fans got their money's worth as the Canadiens won 7-4 to force a sixth game.

It wasn't easy.

A 4-1 lead with Henrik Lundqvist on the bench should have been safe.

It wasn't.

The Rangers scored three unanswered goals – on six second-period shots – to tie it.

Rene Bourque restored the Canadiens' lead with his second of the game and added a third as insurance.

Other scorers were Alex Galchenyuk, on an early power play; Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and, into an empty net 2ith more than four minutes left, David Desharnais.

Dustin Tokarski made 23 saves, including some big ones in the third period.

Killer instinct

Rene Bourque's third of the game and David Desharnais's empty-netter put this one out of reach.

Goaltenders battle?

Early goals by Max Pacioretty and Rene Bourque chased Henrik Lundqvist.

4-1 and back to NYC for Game 6, right?


The Rangers got three quick goals by Rick Nash, Derek Stepan (his second of the game) and Chris Kreider, on a power play, to throw a pall of gloom over the Bell Centre.

Rene Bourque's second goal of the game and beat Cam Talbot restored the lead.

But this is a nervous building.

The Rangers scored on three of their six shots in the period.

At last, a lead

The Canadiens started fast and struck early as Alex Galchenyuk tipped in a P.K. Subban rocket on a power play less than two minutes in.

The Rangers tied it on a 45-foot Derek Stepan wrister that dropped six inches on Dustin Tokarski's blocker side. This after the Toker made a spectacular save on Carl Hagelin.

Less than two minutes later, Tomas Plekanec beat Henrik Lundqvist glove side from distance.

Canadiens had a 12-10 shot dvantage.

They'll start the second period shorthanded.

(Insert desperation cliché)

Win or go home.

Do or die.

Tuesday dawned overcast and drizzly in Montreal, where your Canadiens face an ominous situation that matches the weather.

The team has faced elimination twice before in the 2014 playoffs. They won Games 6 and 7 to eliminate the mighty Bruins.

Can they win Game 5 to stay alive against the Rangers?

This team has displayed character and resilience all through the regular season and playoffs, up to and including two overtime thrillers at Madison Square Garden.

It's unlikely Bell Centre fans will have to endure the kind of Game 5 stomping that ended the Canadiens' playoff series against Ottawa last year.

And regardless of the final score, we should celebrate a 2013-'14 that exceeded the expectations of all but the most delusional Habs supporters.

This team has taken us on a helluva ride.

And it isn't over.

Puck drops at 8 p.m.

Check back later for live game blogging.

• What was Alexei Emelin doing on Game 4's winning goal? Not much of anything.

• Pre-game viewing: Michael Farber's excellent TSN feature on Ginette Reno

• It worked for the Kings. The brilliant Josie Gold suggests Ginette needs a Slash approach to change the Canadiens home-ice luck in this series.

Ginette Reno




  1. hockeydoc says:

    If the Habs start tonight”s game the way they have the first 4 i.e. disinterested and uncompetitive then serious questions must be asked of leadership and coaching

  2. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    It’s official, we’re winning. I challenged the 12 yr old kid (Rags fan – anti-Habs fan actually) next door to hit my Habs car flag with a tennis ball from 20 paces and he failed epically.
    ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

  3. slapshot777 says:

    Habs will win tonight and force a game six

  4. WVHabsfan says:


    Can you name a couple of the ex NHL players at the saloon?

  5. WVHabsfan says:

    @habbytent. Ha!!

  6. PK says:

    Have we done the cliches yet?

    Here is a sampler:

    Backs against the wall
    Do or die
    One game at a time
    Must win situation
    If you lose, you go home
    They are down but not out
    etc. etc.

    … GHG!!!

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  7. RockinRey says:

    @ Boone . Your pal Erik Engels floated the idea that could Vanek be a healthy scratch……

    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  8. habcertain says:

    TSN radio…Rangers have outcoached the Habs, i.e. Pleks 7 min. of PP time, game 4

  9. Danno says:

    It’s Now or Never


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  10. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Great afternoon at the The Saloon with the Lads. Some Ex-NHL guys, OHL guys and the us regular old Liars. The Mojo is with us. We have the Win tonight. Keep the Faith and Vas-y Les Boys!

  11. Psycho29 says:

    Enjoy the game everyone! Time to get outta here before the crazies come out!!!

    GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. habfan100 says:

    We started the party early boys…half the 26er of Johnnie Walker black is gone, were gone through a few Cohiba’s and the chicken fried rice is going good….GO HABS GO!!!

  13. WVHabsfan says:

    I meant to type are a doctor. Not see a doctor.

  14. Danno says:

    Hey Habs.

    Don’t let me down.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  15. WVHabsfan says:

    Wow, good habits!

  16. CHicoHab says:

    The only way we can win is one small adjustment. Keep DD off the power play. Trust me.

  17. WVHabsfan says:

    @ Dipsy. Dd I read once that you see a doctor.

  18. Good Habits says:

    You guys are talking about all the booze you have ready.

    I just need some extra soft 2-ply toilet paper.

  19. DipsyDoodler says:

    Before the game starts I just want to go on record and wish some very bad luck to Chris Kreider.

    Moving. Forward.

    • HabsfanlostinTO says:

      retweet, so to speak 🙂

      I knew I was in a safe place in enemy territory when I walked into a Toronto bar and the bartender was wearing a Béliveau jersey

  20. WVHabsfan says:

    Never tried rye. What does it taste like? I only drink beer.

  21. WVHabsfan says:

    Keep the faith,Ace!

  22. habbytent says:

    just bought a quart or rye, needed sterner stuff than home brew for tonight

  23. WVHabsfan says:

    Just got back from “the saloon”. Bought 12 pint cans in the way home and rocking my Koivu #11.

  24. CH Marshall says:

    Have a good one folks. Will check in for the usual comedy afterwards

  25. Say Ash says:

    Sorry, beer. You have no chance against hard liquor tonight.

  26. PrimeTime says:

    Boone’s non-negativity is a sign of his resignation that the Habs are done.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • BriPro says:

      I’d prefer to think that he knows something we don’t.
      If that’s at all possible on here.

      Maybe he’s seen the light!

      That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
      Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  27. Good Habits says:

    In Los Angeles.

    Me: I gotta get out of here. Canadiens game starting.
    Boss: Who’s game starting?
    Boss: The whole country?!
    Me: I quit

    • BriPro says:


      That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
      Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  28. Hobie says:

    Want some motivation? You should hear John Bartlett talking on TSN 690. Pretty much guaranteeing the Habs will win tonight, with authority. The guy has called all 82 games, preseason, plus playoffs. In Bartlett we trust!

  29. johnnylarue says:

    Actually, I think I’m beginning to appreciate the screen-swallowing subtlety of that Matelas Bonheur ad…

  30. Habilis says:

    Must win game. You know what you have to do, Boone.

  31. Storman says:

    Extreme flatulence

  32. Cal says:

    Book of Hab

    And it came to pass that The Lion
    Had taken many wounds and lay still
    Upon the ice. And Death stood to
    His right awaiting His final breath.
    Yet the roars of the Faithful
    There in The Temple
    Did bid the Ste-Flanelle to rise once again and
    So The Lion and His Foe regarded
    With a pitiless Hunger.
    Then and there, the Voice of Great Renown
    Shook asunder the Temple and The Faithful
    Stood as One.

    So sayeth the Book of Hab.

  33. Danno says:

    Barry Trotz says Alex Ovechkin is a great player but he can do so much more.

    This is going to be interesting…


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  34. sherburnehabfan says:

    The last time the Habs had a must win they beat the Bruins 4-0 in game 6 and 3-1 in game 7. Go Habs Go

    Hockey is a game played with a clock, the more time you play in the offensive side of center ice the less pressure you put on the defense. Control the clock, win the game.

  35. HabsfanlostinTO says:

    Nervous as hell

    I knew I was in a safe place in enemy territory when I walked into a Toronto bar and the bartender was wearing a Béliveau jersey

  36. Thomas Le Fan says:

    We will not lose three home games. This thing is going seven. Go Habs!

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  37. Slackman says:

    I’d like to thank Boone for this particular pre-game write-up. Not a hint of negativity and i’m already getting fired up.

    It has been a helluva ride. Gonna be a fun one tonight. Habs win 5-2

    “A Gypsy mutant industrial vacuum cleaner dances about a mysterious night time camp fire. Festoons. Dozens of imported castanets, clutched by the horrible suction of its heavy duty hose, waving with marginal erotic abandon in the midnight autumn air.”

  38. Louisville says:

    Okay. Let’s help Boone out with the cliches.

    Win or go home.

    Do or die.

    It’s now or never (courtesy Danno)

    There are no tomorrows.

    and my favourite

    It’s time to sh*t or get off the pot!

  39. Marc10 says:

    60 minute effort. Go Habs Go!

    Come on Toker!

  40. Louisville says:

    How many broadcasters has Rogers stolen from TSN for their hockey coverage next year? I’m hoping that Aaron Ward and Darren Dregger are not moving over…they are outright Habs haters. Very glad to see the end of the TSN NHL relationship for the next 10 years.

  41. Alvin says:

    O ye of little faith. Habs 4 NY 2 and then we take Manhattan!!

  42. Alvin says:

    Whoa…!! For a minute there I thought Slash had put on as much weight as Axl !!!

  43. WVHabsfan says:

    It is a great day to be a Habs fan wherever you may be!!! Go Habs go!!

  44. New says:

    Rangers are going to come out hard and try to bury the Canadiens right away. If the series turns it will turn in the first.

  45. Louisville says:

    Anybody else think that Price could make it back before the end of the series if it goes 7?! MT’s denials have been too categorical for this time of year.

  46. habfan100 says:

    Habs win tonight boys, no doubt…this is gonna be a repeat of Game 6 last round!

  47. piper says:

    Once more into the Fray.
    GO HABS GO!!!

  48. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    2 x D’OH

  49. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    We will slash our way to victory. 🙂

  50. Psycho29 says:

    Going to miss the game tonight, first softball game of the season…in 8 degree weather!!!

    I feel like there will be OT tonight, don’t think I could handle the stress!!! GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!!

    edit: My Game is cancelled, and the Habs will win!!!!!

    • Paz says:

      How can the field be playable? After all the rain we had and no heat to dry up the field, it would be nearly impossible to find a field tonight. You’re game is going to be cancelled.

      edit: now what do I do with my post?

      • Psycho29 says:

        And to top it off, where we play (Ile Bizard), the temperature drops 2-4 degrees just walking from the parking lot to the field. (all year round). The field is next to a swamp….

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      No way!!!

      I have a double header at 8:15 AST.. In the same boat.. But.. It’s a whopping 10 degrees here..

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Ahhhh, it’s been raining for two days and we’re still going… 20mm yesterday and overcast all day today.. Praying to be playing infield.. Would love dry feet.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      They’d be playing ball without me. You’re a good team mate. Hope our Habs and your team win.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  51. The Puckhound says:

    IF Gionta, Plekenac and Vanek doesn’t score..its over!

    Dustin-we are aTrust in!

    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  52. Danno says:

    It’s now or never.

    Okay Habs


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  53. Hobie says:

    I’ve been watching the playoffs since the days of the Oilers in the 80′s, really started watching as a 10-year-old when the Habs won in 86, have been a complete diehard since the early 90s when I was a teenager. So take my opinion for what it’s worth. I have been known to enjoy many cold ones during the game so maybe my judgement has been slightly clouded. ;-).

    The Habs are hurting right now, unfortunately. Vanek, Subban and Emelin are not 100%. Not sure where Subban and Vanek are hurting but I’m guessing Emelin’s knee is acting up a bit as it has been off and on all year. And of course we’re missing Price. The Rangers are pretty much 100% healthy except for a sore jaw.

    After saying all that, the Habs have the best roster of players since the early/mid 90′s. If Pacioretty and Desharnais can get it going, Eller and Bourque have good games, Galchenyuk shows a burst or two, Gallagher gets to the net…we can win this thing. We have a deep team. Who knows, maybe Subban and Vanek can dig down deep and have great games.

    The Rangers are probably favored, but not by a mile here. I would be pretty surprised if the Habs weren’t flying and I’d be pretty disappointed if they packed in it early, which I doubt. Bergevin and Therrien have done a fantastic job building team spirit and moral here. I’m sure Bergevin has paid a visit to the dressing room today and if he already hasn’t, will deliver a tremendous speech to get the boys going.

    This one will be close. I’m praying we come out on top. I love this team and management. Haven’t been able to say that in 15 or 20 years.


    • Louisville says:

      I agree that there are probably more injuries than we know, but I am sure that is the case for the Rangers as well. Brassard is playing with a wonky shoulder but he owned the Habs in game 4. It’s not the injuries now, it’s the passion and the heart. C’mon Habs, if you can beat the Bruins you can beat these Broadway losers.

  54. CJ says:

    One win. One win tonight and we are back. In such a closely contested series, the outcome can be decided, as we saw in game four, by fractions. An inch here on the Chucky crossbar. A stride there, or a missed assignment here leading to breakaway goals. Failure to clear the zone and cover St. Louis (whom I have developed a dark, deep seeded dislike for).

    Will the bounces go our way tonight, tough to tell. We need to create our own luck though and can not afford to look to the refs, league, Bettman or anyone else. So far as I am concerned, it’s the Montreal Canadiens versus the world.

    I’m not sure who steps up, nor do I really care. Like other’s in this community, I have my favorites too. One of them (Ryan White) is not playing. So what. I deal with it. It’s always the team that comes first. Next year we will have different players, joined by more new players the following year and so on. The only thing that will remain the same is the crest on the front of the jersey. I invite folks to keep this in mind when we are talking about players. Those players owe us nothing, the same way that we owe them nothing. Players will come and go.

    Putting all this aside, my focus is entirely on the game this evening. We can win this game. One game. One win tonight. I am confident, are you?

    Go Habs Go. Go Habs Go!…. Friends, this is game five of the conference final. Let’s go!!!! Go Habs Go!

    Enjoy the game everyone! Best wishes to you all, CJ

    • Paz says:

      If the Habs leave St Louis uncovered tonight I will lose it.

      First, how many wide open looks has he been given in this series, 5, 6?

      Second, Pierre Houde has a man crush on St Louis, and he screams for joy every time St Louis scores. I really like Houde but I can’t take it anymore.

      • Louisville says:

        Marty is one of the smartest players in the league. He has made many defensemen look bad over the years.

        Jim Hughston is not as bad as some of the other homers on HNIC, but just once I’d like to see him get as excited about a Habs goal as he does for a Rags goal.

    • piper says:

      I have a feeling Whitey will show us that he’s a playoff type player. Unfortunately it will not be in a Habs jersey.

    • Peter Young says:

      C.J., I’m surprised you say the players owe the fans nothing and that the fans owe the players nothing.

      It’s true that players do not owe (and never owed) fans the emotional attachment to a club that many of them once had in days long since gone by. But surely they do owe the fans of a team their best effort–a professional effort–while they are wearing that team’s jersey.

      And the fans do owe the players something–their support as long as the players are giving their best effort and, when it is perceived that they are not performing well, criticism that is civil rather than abusive.

      Instead, I would invite fans to keep in mind when they are discussing players that players are human beings and entitled to be treated as such.


    The Habs have played maybe two periods of hockey, THEY ARE SAVING IT ALL FOR A THREE GAME STREAK!

    I gots da Feelin!


    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  56. Paz says:

    If I double negative the reverse jinx can I be the next captain?

  57. Habilis says:

    I am fully NOT ready for the season to end tonight. We must win, and so we shall.

    Go Habs Go.

  58. Donkey Hoat says:

    That’s quite the “man hand” on Ginette Reno in that photo.

  59. rice says:

    Lots of negativity out there while we are still playing a full 6 weeks after the leafs and Sens and 2 weeks after the Bruins and the Pens. Thats got to bring a smile to every real hab fan and hope that there is more to come..

  60. Arnou Ruelle says:

    “Don’t stop believing! Hold on to that feeling!” – Steve Perry

    Yeah right! I would rather read ‘no excuses’ than ‘I believe’!

    Believe in what anyway…???

  61. Louisville says:

    I never liked the idea of playing the Rags. When everyone was predicting a romp through them I thought that it might be a bit tougher than that, especially with Lundquist backing them up. I know this is pure speculation but I suspect the Habs would have played the Pens somewhat better than the Rags. Frankly the Pens rely so much on Crosby that shutting him down gets you halfway there. Ahhh what could have been.

    Tonight is all about heart and about goaltending. The team that has both will win. Line up changes and blenders at this point are not only pathetic but useless.

    • Paz says:

      I agree. In retrospect the Pens would have been a better match up for us. The Rangers deserve full credit for their 11 wins.

      I think we’re good tonight and it will come down to game 6 in NY.

      We have everything to lose tonight at home, and the Rangers might let up knowing they have 3 shots at the can, and game 6 waiting for them at home.

      • Louisville says:

        I’ve never try to predict a game but if the Rags score first I think it’s curtains.

      • 24AW says:

        I have news for you, the Pens have better “D” than the Rangers. The only thing we have better than the Pens is Goal-Tending. That’s the reason for the Rangers beating the Pens “Goal-tending” the “D” can only do so much, if the Goalie is not doing his thing you’re going down and that’s exactly what happen in the Rangers, Pens series.

    • JF says:

      I also did not like the idea of playing the Rangers and thought it would be tough. They’re a very different team from the low-scoring, defensive, Tortorella-coached Rangers team that we used to beat with ease. Before the playoffs began, they were my dark horse team to come out of the East.

      Playing the Penguins would have been easier, partly because of Fleury’s Jekyll-and-Hyde goaltending, partly because they’re not that good apart from Crosby and Malkin. I’m also not impressed by Dan Bylsma as a coach.

      I agree with your conclusion too. Heart and goaltending – to which I would add special teams and opportunistic scoring. The penalty kill has improved since the start of the series, but the powerplay needs to show more life, although it’s unlikely we’ll get eight chances tonight.

      • Paz says:

        The Rangers are lightning fast, especially on the transition, both to launch an offensive rush and to get back on the backcheck.

        We were faster than the Bruins.

        But we’re lacking the jump we had against the Bruins, and we’re a step behind the Rangers’ speed.

        But we’re good tonight. I feel it.

  62. city center says:

    I believe in this team (and, shockingly, in the coach, DD, MaxPac, Josh and those others that couldn’t find employment with any other team in the NHL) 🙂

    Go Habs Go.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Believe all you want my friend. But as soon as the puck drops and if the next 60mins is going to be a complete bust, say goodbye to the 2013-2014 edition of the Montreal Canadiens.

  63. If Eller and Galchenyuk are getting PP time tonight we WIN!

    If Max scores one goal, WE WIN!

    If Galchenyuk and Eller get equal or more ice than Gionta and Pleks, WE WIN!

    Habs 6
    Rags 4, or 3, or 2, or whatever…..WE WILL WIN TONIGHT!

    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

    • BriPro says:

      “…4, or 3, or 2, or whatever…”

      Shane, I’m going to go out on a limb and bet you’ve studied meteorology.

      That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
      Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

  64. johnnylarue says:

    Goddamn, I hope The Gazette is making a mint on that obnoxious “Matelas Bonheur” ad ’cause it’s making me want to leave and never come back!

    (Apologies to anyone who would be happy if I did–it ain’t happening. Yet.)

  65. BriPro says:

    Don’t you guys know that I’m supposed to post first, to bring good karma to the boys?

    Every time I’ve posted first on this site, they’ve won.
    I bring a Good Omen to our Habs.

    Don’t believe me? Just ask HabinBurlington!

    That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
    Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

    • D Mex says:

      OK, OK …
      Get your hind parts down to the 1st post and make some meaningful comment to Slackman. We’ll call it ” 1A ” – will that work ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  66. bjmmn says:

    Okay boys, give us a 60+ minute effort, some decent zone clears, and, what the hell, throw in a PPG or two. Great run, keep it going!

  67. Slackman says:

    Gonna be a gut buster tonight…. A real nard jangler!!!

  68. Slackman says:

    I’ve been waiting for this day whole life

  69. sprague cleghorn says:


    … ‘ow could we forget that?

  70. PK says:


    Start your engines!

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  71. Slackman says:


    • BriPro says:

      Thanks to D Mex, I’m the A1 Poster.

      That’s a good omen!

      Go Habs Go!

      That is some of the most Free-range, Organically-grown, Disingenuous,
      Idealogically-marinated, Un-Self-awareness I’ve ever seen in the wild.

      – John Stewart on Marchand, the RAT

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.