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April 28, 2017

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Bourque hat-trick keeps Canadiens alive in NHL playoffs after miraculous 7-4 victory over Rangers

MONTREAL -- Rene Bourque posted the first post-season hat-trick of his career Tuesday as Montreal stayed alive in the NHL playoffs with a 7-4 win over the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens fended off elimination in the Eastern Conference final, closing the gap in the best-of-seven series to three-games-to-two.

"I've had a few (hat-tricks) before, but obviously this was the biggest of my career," Bourque said. "It's nice. It's nice to get rewarded."

Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk added a goal and assist each for the Canadiens, who received additional goals from Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais.

Andrei Markov added three assists, Lars Eller and Dale Weise assisted on a pair of scores apiece, while goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 23 shots in the victory.

Derek Stepan, playing with a broken jaw, scored a pair of goals for the Rangers, who battled back from a 4-1 deficit but couldn't close it out.

They will get another chance to book their Stanley Cup finals berth when they host game six on Thursday.

The winners of the series will face either Chicago or L.A.

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