Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Canadiens win 7-4 | NYR lead series 3-2 | Game 6 Thur.
Montreal Canadiens: See what playing with the early lead does for this team? The Canadiens had to be a desperate team and they were in this game, only briefly losing that edge of desperation. They came out strong in the first period and earned a power play within the first couple of shifts, leading to a goal. In fact, the power play finally found its form with a couple of goals in the man advantage in this one after starting the series just 1-for-17 with a man advantage. The good thing was that desperation remained as the Habs jumped over the Rangers in each period and didn't let up much except for a few minutes of sleeping at the wheel in the second period when the Rangers scored three quick, unanswered goals. Dustin Tokarski has to be better than he was on this night but the offense was breezing through the zone and was relentless, torching the Henrik Lundqvist and then later Cam Talbot. It was a highly entertaining game and from the Habs perspective, a pretty good game, even with four goals against.
New York Rangers: The Rangers had a chance to close out the Canadiens on Tuesday night but for much of the game they looked like a team that knows it has two more chances to come. Every period the Rangers were late to the party, failing to even register shots in the first five minutes of each period, almost the first 10 minutes in the second. Defensively they were not sound, overcommitting at times and it was a very rare off night for Henrik Lundqvist. They showed good fight in coming back in the game but the Habs had an answer for that too. Lundqvist was pulled at 4-1 and after the Rangers made it 4-4, many were calling for Lundqvist to return but the Rangers stuck with Cam Talbot, who couldn't keep the Habs down either. It can be debated if it was the right call but the Rangers didn't do much on offense to close it out, especially on their third-period power plays.
Play of the Game: We shared this play earlier but it's worth sharing again. This pass from Brendan Gallagher while falling down and on his backhand to Max Pacioretty was a thing of absolute beauty. We like to think he knew exactly where Pacioretty was (and he probably did).
Player of the Game: Well we know it's not any of the goaltenders in this game because while they had help in having rough games, none of them was remotely sharp. Somebody who was, though? Rene Bourque. You get a playoff hat trick and it's tough to say you weren't the player of the game. The first of Bourque's goals, against Lundqvist, was not all that pretty but the second and third? Well those were pretty excellent. This team has shown in the playoffs when they get contribution from him and his line, they get so much more dangerous.
Turning Point: This game turned so much that it could leave you sick watching from home. The Rangers turned the game when they pulled Lundqvist for Talbot and promptly scored three goals to tie it up but then the Canadiens came right back and seized the momentum back. It could have been bad and really weighed on the Canadiens but Bourque came through with his impressive goal, working hard in the slot to beat Talbot high and quickly regain the lead.
GIF of the Game: This game was so crazy and had so much going for it that this is the first we're mentioning of Alex Galchenyuk's goal that started the scoring in this game. It came on the power play after a shot from P.K. Subban. But notice, he deflects this shot between his legs and past Lundqvist for the goal. So pretty. (GIF via @PeteBlackburn.)