Rangers look to finish off Canadiens
Brandon Saad made a nice pass to the middle to Handzus, who beat goalie Jonathan Quick with a backhander for his second goal of the playoffs. Handzus jumped against the boards behind the net as the sellout crowd of 21,871 roared.
Saad had a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who stopped a three-game losing streak. Patrick Kane set a playoff career high with four assists.
Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles.
The last time the New York Rangers had a game to forget, they responded with five consecutive wins that put them on the cusp of the Stanley Cup Finals.
They are still there, and the Montreal Canadiens aren't going away without a fight.
New York needs one more win to reach the championship round for the first time in 20 years. The Rangers know that Game 6 at home Thursday is their best chance to get it.
They returned home Wednesday, one day after a wild 7-4 loss cut their series lead to three games to two. If New York doesn't end it Thursday, the Rangers will have to go back to Montreal for a deciding Game 7.
New York, which went the full seven games in each of the first two rounds of this year's playoffs, will be playing its 20th postseason game. No team that played a pair of seven-game series before the conference finals has reached the Finals.
Montreal will have rugged forward Brandon Prust back after he served a two-game suspension for a late hit on Derek Stepan in Game 3 that broke the Rangers center's jaw. Stepan returned Tuesday and scored two goals.
The Rangers will be without defenseman John Moore. He was suspended for two games Wednesday for a hit Tuesday to Montreal forward Dale Weise's head. - AP