Mika Zibanejad‘s overtime goal off the stick of Chris Kreider leads the New York Rangers to a thrilling 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

  • New York Rangers 3 (3-2)
  • Montreal Canadiens 2 (2-3)
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1
  • Game 5, Final, Box Score
  • Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sometimes, the more talented and harder working team will prevail. In game five of the first round matchup between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, that sentiment held true.

After a scoreless third period that capped off a dirty, hard-hitting hockey game that resembled rugby, the two teams went to overtime, an OT frame that featured all Rangers.

Finally, Mika Zibanejad finished it off in grand fashion at the 14:22 mark, capitalizing on a Chris Kreider deflected shot:

It was a true seesaw battle from the start. The Habs opened the scoring in the form of a weak wraparound by Artturi Lehkonen who collected his first of the playoffs.

The Blueshirts responded a little under four minutes later while on the penalty kill. Mika Zibanejad and Jesper Fast hooked up for a beauty:

Unfortunately for the Rangers, the first period scoring didn’t end there. Just 24 seconds later, pest Brendan Gallagher found himself all alone in the slot on the power play. He sniped one high and past Henrik Lundqvist:

The equalizer for New York didn’t come until late in the second period. It started with a beautiful Rick Nash entry, developed with hard work along the boards by young Jimmy Vesey, and finished with Brady Skjei banging it home past Carey Price:

All told, Hank stopped 34-of-36 Canadiens’ shots. Price managed to come up with 33 saves. While the Habs outshot New York, during the third period and all of overtime, the Rangers dominated every aspect of the game: pace of play, scoring chances, etc.

Like mentioned in the opening, it was a dirty game, one that Claude Julien loves, especially when his team has less talent on the ice. The Rangers, however, held firm, yet again. Captain Ryan McDonagh led the way in this area:

With the Rangers now one win away from the series win, the all-important game six will come your way on Saturday night from Madison Square Garden.

Game Notes:

  • Dan Girardi was phenomenal all night. He played well defensively and remained composed while pinching in at the blue line. He also came up with a brutal hit on Andrew Shaw in overtime.
  • Jimmy Vesey was another bright spot, again. He turned in another solid performance in all areas and looks extremely comfortable handling the puck.
  • Rick Nash was a beast and came very close to executing a highlight reel goal in the third period.
  • Chris Kreider enjoyed his best game of the series, by far.
  • Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal and Nick Holden were a bit shaky in the game. Hayes continues to look intimidated and Staal’s lost battled along the boards in the defensive zone led to the first goal against.
  • Pavel Buchnevich, who was scratched for the first three games of the series, looked great. Not only did he play with confidence offensively, but he saved the day on one particular play late in regulation on an all-out hustle back check.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com