After five total goals and a trip to the bench for Henrik Lundqvist, the game had just begun.
In the end, despite a furious Rangers comeback, the Canadiens pulled out a 7-4 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to force a trip back to Madison Square Garden.
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The Rangers were trying to close out their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final 20 years to the day after Stephane Matteau famously defeated the Devils and set up the team’s last title.
Instead, the Canadiens prolonged their stay in the postseason thanks to a scoring barrage which never let up regardless of who was in net for the Rangers.
The night started with a bad omen as Chris Kreider was called for a tripping penalty on P.K. Subban 22 seconds into the game, setting up a goal by Alex Galchenyuk, who redirected a Subban slapshot into net.
Derek Stepan, who skated with a facemask in his first action since suffering a broken jaw in Game 3, tied it up at 1-1 at 10:44. It was the first of two goals for Stepan.
Stepan’s second goal came in a frenetic second period when the Canadiens jumped out to a 4-1 lead on goals by Max Pacioretty and Rene Bourque. Lundqvist was pulled at the next stoppage, but the Rangers immediately answered with three straight goals to tie it up at 4-4.
Borque scored the game-winner at 15:10 in the second period to close out a six-goal period.
Borque completed the hat trick 6:33 into the third period, while David Desharnais put in an empty netter for the final margin.
Game 6 will be Thursday night at the Garden at 8 p.m.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.