The teams met the previous year in the 1952 Semi-finals where Montreal prevailed 4 games to 3. Both teams played without their starting goalies during the series but once Gerry McNeil returned in game 3 to replace rookie Jacques Plante he outplayed Boston's backup Gord Henry and notched 2 shutouts for the series win.
Game 1 at the Montreal Forum saw the Canadiens Jacques Plante start in net. Boston was without captain Milt Schmidt, still recovering from an injury suffered in the Semi-finals. An early penalty to Montreal's Ken Mosdell saw the Bruins Bob Armstrong score his first career playoff goal on a give and go with Fleming Mackell that he slapped into the low left corner. Minutes later, Plante was shaken up on a shot by Hal Laycoe and the game stopped while he received treatment. Dickie Moore tied it up when his shot from behind the net went in off the skate of Bruins goalie Jim Henry. In the second period, Modell scored early on a rebound to make it 2-1. Late in the period during a goalmouth scramble, Floyd Curry smacked in it for a 3-1 lead. During the third period with Doug Harvey off for holding, Johnny Peirson (playing with a bandaged head) made it close when he banged in Mackell's pass across goal. But a minute later, Maurice Richard split Laycoe and Armstrong and scored on a breakaway for a 4-2 Montreal win and a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 in Montreal had Schmidt back in the line-up and the Bruins were bolstered by his play. An early goal by Leo Labine, who deked Doug Harvey and fired a low shot to the left corner, put the Bruins up 1-0. Late in the period, Ed Sandford put in a 5 footer off a pass by Joe Klukay to make it 2-0. Jim Henry twisted his ankle near the end of the first period, forcing Gord Henry to fill in for him. Bert Olmstead scored an early second period goal on a 2 on 1 but Sandford responded with his second of the game on a rebound. In the third period, Schmidt and Woody Dumart showed they still had some of the old magic left as Dumart's pass put Schmidt in the clear and he deked Plante to the ice and slipped in a backhand for a 4-1 Bruins win.
Game 3 at the Boston Garden had Gerry McNeil back in the net for the Canadiens. Tom Johnson took a left wing pass from Mosdell and beat Henry to the far side for a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Paul Masnick's pass from behind the net hit Hal Laycoe's skate and bounced in to make it 2-0. In the third period, Henry couldn't control a blast from the point and Mosdell backhanded in the rebound for a 3-0 Montreal win and a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game 4 in Boston saw Montreal dominate. Henry couldn't stop 40 footers from Lorne Davis, Richard and Dickie Moore which saw the Habs go up 3-0. Dave Creighton backhanded in a Dumart pass to make it 3-1 at the end of the period. Play was close in the second period until Laycoe fell while killing a penalty, resulting in Bernie Geoffrion taking the puck and scoring with a spinning shot at 18:58. At 5:33 of the third, Richard shifted around the Bruins defense and fired a shot top corner. Milt Schmidt responded two minutes later with a backhand goal while speeding down the right wing. With four minutes left, Creighton picked off a Billy Reay clearing pass and drew two defenders to him. Jack McIntyre picked up the loose puck and fired it past McNeil to cut the lead to 5-3. The Bruins pulled the goalie but Schmidt's pass was intercepted by Calum MacKay who killed the rally, making it 6-3. Thirty seconds later, Richard scored on a breakaway for a 7-3 Canadiens win and a 3-1 stranglehold in the series.
Game 5 in Montreal saw only one penalty called during the game. After two sub-par games, Gord Henry played well with both he and Montreal's McNeil stopping numerous scoring chances. The game went into overtime where Elmer Lach picked off Schmidt's clearing pass on the right wing and fired a quick spinning shot past Henry for the Cup winning goal. Ed Sandford led all playoff scorers with 11 points.