Playoff Pre Game: Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers, Round 1 Game 5

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The Montreal Canadiens are heading back to Montreal, hosting the New York Rangers in game 5 at the Bell Centre.

The Habs look to regain their lead after allowing the Rangers to tie the series at 2 games a piece in game 4. Montreal played arguably their worst game of the series in the 2-1 loss on Tuesday. The Habs were unable to get anything going throughout the game, especially when they needed to most in the 3rd. They finished the game with only 24 shots, their lowest total of the series.

The Rangers struck first about halfway through the 1st after an Andrei Markov error. The puck deflected off Markov’s skate in the corner and bounced right in front, ending up on Jesper Fast’s stick. Fast took it to the net and put it past Price. Montreal’s lone goal game came from Torrey Mitchell late in the 1st. Mitchell finished off a perfectly executed two on one with Shea Weber. Rick Nash got the game-winner early on in the second period. After being left alone in the corner, Nash received a pass from Ryan McDonagh and scored a goal in a similar fashion of Fast’s, driving to the net and sliding it past Price. Trailing by one, Montreal’s offense was nowhere to be found in the 3rd, and they were unable to tie the game.

Game 5 will be a big one. The winning team will take the lead in the series and pull within one win of advancing to the 2nd round. Whichever team comes out on top will have a big advantage for the rest of the series.

 

Storylines

Home Ice Advantage

Despite going 1-1 in MSG, the Habs managed to regain home ice advantage for these final three games. Games 5 and potentially 7 will be played at the Bell Centre. This gives the Habs a big advantage going into this final 3 game mini-series. It is now up to them to make the most of having home ice advantage and win this series.

 

No Need To Panic

After their poor performance on Tuesday, many Habs fans have begun to panic once again. Although the Habs did not play their best, there is still no need to panic. Montreal has shown throughout this series that they are the better team. When the Habs are going, the Rangers cannot compete with them. If they find the same stride that they had in games 2 and 3, then they should be totally fine. Also as I mentioned before, Montreal has put themselves in a great position by regaining home ice advantage. If the Habs are able to play to their full potential and make use of having home ice advantage, then they should have no worries about getting past the Rangers and winning this series.

 

Max Pacioretty

The Habs leading goal scorer has been invisible this series. Pacioretty has been unable to score a single goal and has only managed to pick up one assist. Over the course of his career, Pacioretty has always tended to start off playoff series very slow. Luckily for the Habs, Pacioretty usually starts to get hot about 4-5 games into the playoffs. If the Habs want to win this series, they will need their captain to find his game quickly and start being the difference maker that they need him to be.

 

 

Lineup Notes

Alexei Emelin is likely making his return from injury and will be playing for the 1st time since April 5th. Julien said that Emelin is a game-time decision, but will most likely be playing.

-If Emelin does play, Brandon Davidson will be making way.

 

Fun Fact

I have done a “Fun Fact” two times in this series. The Habs won both of those games.

 

Puck Drop is at 7:00 ET. Go Habs Go!

Thomas D'Onofrio

Thomas D'Onofrio is the 16-year-old writer for the website Puck Planet. Anything Thomas usually does revolves around the sport of hockey. He has been a huge Montreal Canadiens fan since the young age of 4, as well a big hockey fan in general. He has also been playing hockey for over 10 years. It has always been a dream of his to make a living our of the sport he loves, whether it is in media, management, or actually playing hockey at a high level. By being able to write for Puck Planet, he has taken the first big step towards reaching his dreams. He hopes for a long, successful tenure with Puck Planet, with many great things to come in the future! Feel free to follow his Twitter @TDonofrio31, for constant Habs and Hockey tweets.

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