Mika Zibanejad scored 14:22 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
Chris Kreider’s shot on a rush went off Alexei Emelin’s stick right to Zibanejad for a shot into an open side.
ZIBANEJAD WINS IT IN OVERTIME!!! Watch it here! #Blueshirts lead the series 3-2! pic.twitter.com/5jWMr53L4G
The Rangers lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and can end it with a win in Game 6 Saturday in New York.
Jesper Fast and Brady Skjei also scored for New York.
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Artturi Lehkonen scored and set up a goal by Brendan Gallagher in the first period for Montreal.
Montreal outshot the Rangers 33-25 in regulation time but shots were 36-36 after overtime.
Mats Zuccarello wasted a glittering chance to give New York the early lead when he couldn’t lift the puck over Carey Price’s pad from the doorstep in the opening minute.
Montreal finally struck first as Lehkonen fought off Marc Staal to put a spin-around shot off the side of the net and score on a wrap-around at 12:07.
Kevin Hayes was serving a holding call when Fast got his second of the series shorthanded, finishing a two-on-two counterattack after taking a slick feed from Zibanejad at 15:56.
Only 25 seconds later, Andrei Markov slipped a pass into the slot for an unguarded Gallagher to score on a snap shot.
Brendan Gallagher with an absolute snipe on the power play. #Habs pic.twitter.com/F23vIwwjmj
Skjei tied the game at 18:28 of the second frame. Rich Nash took the puck to the net and Skjei was on the spot to bang the rebound into an open side.
Skjei is the first Rangers rookie defenceman with two playoff goals since Brian Leetch had three in 1989.
Skjei ties the game for the #Rangers pic.twitter.com/wE9VTdJFAM
Phillip Danault hit a goalpost shorthanded in the opening minute and Max Pacioretty was stopped on a breakaway by Henrik Lundqvist in a scoreless third period in which New York had most of the sustained pressure.
Kreider had a chance to end the game 10 minutes into overtime but whiffed on a Zibanejad pass at the doorstep.
Alexei Emelin saw his first action of the series on Montreal’s third defence pairing, replacing Brandon Davidson. The Russian missed six games with an undisclosed injury.