Stanley Cup scoreboard:
By Michael Donovan
Mika Zibanejad scored 14:22 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first round last night in Montreal.
Zibanejad shot past Carey Price on a deflected pass from the left side by Chris Kreider.
The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is at New York on Saturday.
“We had a lot of good chances and I think it was the opposite way around last time we were here in overtime (in a 4-3 loss in Game 2), they had some momentum coming in and they were pretty much all over us and we weren’t making any plays,” Zibanejad said. “And I think it was the other way around today. It felt like it was our turn and good to get rewarded.”
New York outshot Montreal 10-3 in overtime.
“I think there’s stuff that we didn’t do a few nights ago in overtime that we harped on as a group and I thought we did a better job,” Kreider said.
Artturi Lehkonen and Brendan Gallagher scored in the first period for Montreal, which led 1-0 and 2-1. Price made 33 saves.
“We would have liked to have a better overtime for sure,” Gallagher said. “I think we just weren’t able to get any sustained pressure.”
Jesper Fast scored a shorthanded goal, and Brady Skjei scored for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves.
“There were opportunities to close out the game and [Lundqvist] made some big saves,” Canadiens captainMax Pacioretty said. “They got a bounce on that goal but nothing we can do about it now. We have an opportunity now to show what we have in this room. We’ve come back a lot this year and hopefully we can do it in this series as well.”
Lehkonen gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on a wraparound at 12:07 of the first period. Fast tied it 1-1 at 15:56 after Zibanejad intercepted Alex Galchenyuk’s pass in the Rangers zone. Zibanejad raced down the left side and cut toward the slot after crossing the blue line before passing ahead to Fast, who shot past Price for his second goal of the series.
Gallagher restored Montreal’s lead 24 seconds later with a power-play goal at 16:20 to make it 2-1. Skjei scored at 18:28 of the second period to tie it 2-2.