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The New York Rangers are one win away from the second round of the NHL playoffs following a 3-2 Game 5 overtime triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night at Bell Centre.
Mika Zibanejad played the role of hero and notched a game-winning goal with 5:38 remaining in overtime to give his side a 3-2 series lead following a scoreless third period.
NHL on NBC provided video of the decisive goal:
NHL on NBC @NHLonNBCSports
Mika Zibanejad sends the @NYRangers home with a 3-2 series lead! #StanleyCup
MORE: https://t.co/yihNlqAgph https://t.co/WWZfLbgEQL
4/21/2017, 2:30:38 AM
NHL on NBC also joked about Zibanejad’s mindset as he let the game-winner rip:
NHL on NBC @NHLonNBCSports
You know what they say…
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. #StanleyCup https://t.co/mf8K5cfyl8
4/21/2017, 2:18:43 AM
Artturi Lehkonen and Jesper Fast tallied the game’s opening goals for the Canadiens and Rangers, respectively, but it wasn’t until the end of the first period that things really started to heat up.
Specifically, Brendan Gallagher ripped a wrist shot from between the circles with the Canadiens up a man to hand Montreal a 2-1 lead entering the second period, as the NHL documented on Twitter:
Going top cheese is great.
Doing it in the #StanleyCup Playoffs? Even better.
4/20/2017, 11:57:41 PM
The Canadiens continued to operate as the aggressors throughout the second stanza, and they ripped off shot after shot thanks to two power plays within the frame’s first four minutes. However, the Rangers killed off both to keep the margin at one, and that penalty-killing prowess paid off.
With 1:32 remaining in the second period, Rick Nash jetted toward the net and set up Brady Skjei for a swift rebound tally that easily found its way past Carey Price to tie things at two:
At that point, Blue Shirt Banter’s Adam Herman noted Nash has been a scoring savant over his last couple postseason appearances:
Adam Herman @AdamZHerman
Rick Nash has 14 points in his last 14 playoff games and 21 in his last 29.
4/21/2017, 12:46:22 AM
Zibanejad ultimately sealed the deal with his game-winner to steal the show, but goalkeeping shouldn’t be overlooked.
Both Price and Henrik Lundqvist were locked in with 33 and 34 saves, respectively, and they repeatedly fended off shots throughout the third period to extend action and force an extra session.
Lundqvist, in particular, stood out when he stoned Max Pacioretty on a breakaway midway through the third, as the team’s official Twitter account documented:
New York Rangers @NYRangers
HUGE stop by Henrik to keep the game tied for the #Blueshirts! Stay tuned to @MSGNetworks for OT action coming soon! https://t.co/nYz8vjqPat
4/21/2017, 1:47:15 AM
The scene will now shift back to Madison Square Garden for Game 6, which is scheduled to get underway Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
As things stand, history suggests the Rangers are in great shape.
According to Elias Sports Bureau (via NHL.com’s Sean Farrell), Game 5 winners with the series tied two games apiece in the best-of-seven format have advanced to the next round 78.1 percent of the time since 1953-54.
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