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Canadiens vs Rangers Game 5 Thread

Game 5 is tonight and the Habs stare down elimination in Montreal. Can Max Pacioretty lead the Habs to victory in their biggest game of the season? Will the Rangers get a boost with the return of Derek Stepan?

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

While it is unclear whether Derek Stepan will return to the Rangers lineup tonight, it is quite clear that Carey Price will not. Both injured players skated this morning - Price in full gear and Stepan with a full visor and protective shield. Therrien made it clear that Price would not return in Game 5, while Vigneault left it unclear whether Stepan was fully cleared. A return of both players at full strength would boost their respective team's chances, but either player returning too early could be an Achilles' heel.

Max Pacioretty made it clear that he wasn't happy with his performance in Game 5. Pacioretty in the past has been derided (perhaps unfairly) for shirking the media during bad stretches. Whether that is true or not, it's nice to see him own up to a bad performance and use it as potential motivation. Pacioretty has raised his game throughout this season and it's inspiring to see his game go to new levels. I don't want to say that he's still developing, but I don't think we've seen Pacioretty's best just yet.

While it seems the popular opinion is that the Canadiens would benefit from Emelin sitting and Beaulieu dressing, it isn't necessarily an opinion shared by Michel Therrien. Signs indicated that Therrien will dress the same D configuration as Game 5.

If in the event that Derek Stepan doesn't dress for this game, it's presumed that Dominic Moore would take his spot at centre between Nash and Kreider. Brian Boyle would centre the fourth line and one of Jesper Fast or Oscar Lindberg would skate on the fourth line.

Do or Die time is at 8 PM ET

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk Tomas Plekanec Brian Gionta
Rene Bourque Lars Eller Dale Weise
Michael Bournival Daniel Briere Thomas Vanek
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov Alexei Emelin
Josh Gorges P.K. Subban
Francis Bouillon Mike Weaver
Dustin Tokarski
Peter Budaj

Scratches: Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, George Parros, Ryan White, Travis Moen, Douglas Murray

Suspensions: Brandon Prust (2 games)

Injuries: Carey Price (knee - out for the series)

The Rangers start today with the following lineup:

New York Rangers Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Rick Nash Derek Stepan Chris Kreider
Carl Hagelin Brad Richards Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot Derick Brassard Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle Dominic Moore Derek Dorsett
Left Defense
Right Defense
Ryan McDonagh Dan Girardi
Anton Stralman Marc Staal
John Moore Kevin Klein
Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Talbot

Scratches: Jesper Fast, Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk, Oscar Lindberg

Suspensions: Daniel Carcillo (10 games - appealing)

Injuries: J.T. Miller (upper body injury - day-to-day)

Check out the opposing side at Blueshirt Banter

This game will be carried on CBC and RDS in Canada and NBCSN in the US.

You can stream the HNIC (CBC) feed here.