Rangers Vs. Penguins: You Just Need One More

Elsa

Notes from the Rangers' Game 6 win over the Penguins.

- We all wanted that moment. We had no idea if we were going to get it, but we all wanted it. The Rangers winning Game 5 to bring Martin St. Louis home so he could be honored by his own fans on home ice. The Rangers doing just that, and the fans doing their part by showering St. Louis with "Marty" chants the moment he steps on the ice. That was beautiful. It really was.

- But him scoring the game's first goal (an enormous goal, by the way), just letting his emotions out, his teammates mobbing him in the corner, the place going absolutely nuts and then getting even louder when the announcer announced his goal. That moment was special. It was so friggin perfect, for a guy who deserves so many more moments like that for doing what he's done with what he's going through -- and to do it on Mother's Day no less -- I doubt I was the only one who got a lump in my throat, chills down my spine and water in my eyes. That's what sports is about. Those moments don't always come, but my word when they do they're special memories. You don't forget those.

- Even better? St. Louis giving the Broadway Hat to the entire team after the game. Telling them he couldn't be prouder to be a F-ing Ranger and how proud he was for all of them to get from where they were to where they are. Those moments (the moments fans can't usually see) are what leaders are made out of. They're the moments that shape the younger guys on this team. And if there's anyone you want your younger players learning from, it's Martin St. Louis.

- Him being the first star of the game, skating out to center ice with his hand over his heart and thanking the crowd is about as tear-jerking as it gets. Don't thank us, Marty. Thank you. For everything.

- As for the game, the team did exactly what they did in Game 5. They pushed, and pushed and pushed. They dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, scored two goals (the St. Louis goal was a good bounce, and the Carl Hagelin goal was one Marc-Andre Fleury would want to have back) and the place was just going nuts. More importantly, however, the Rangers weathered the Penguins' storm the second 10 minutes of the first period. And with a team as skilled as the Penguins, you know those moments are going to happen.

- But the Rangers kept their composure, even after giving up an unlucky goal. And Henrik Lundqvist was a big part of that. He made some remarkable saves down the stretch and was just brilliant from the start of the game to the finish. And boy did the Rangers need him to be at times.

- We've talked a lot this year about how this team goes as Brad Richards goes. Maybe we had it wrong. Maybe this team goes as Derick Brassard goes. Three goals and an assist in the past two games. His goal in Game 6 was an effort goal. He crashes the net, the puck bounces in the crease and he pushed one more time and slams the puck home. I don't know if there was ever a debate about bringing him back this summer or not, but after this postseason (whenever it ends) I think they don't have a choice. He's become quite the clutch player for the Rangers.

- Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi played another spectacular game. So did Anton Stralman and Marc Staal. The Rangers need all six of their defenseman to be solid, but it's especially important for those first four.

- The power play didn't score, but it looked so much better. Derek Stepan -- who was fantastic all night -- rang one off the post, which was the team's best chance of the evening with the man advantage. Overall, however, it looked dangerous. That's really all you can ask for.

- The Rangers forcing a Game 7 is huge. Even if they don't win, they've given the battle level that was missing Games 2-4. They've clawed their way back into this series, they've taken some punches but given some, too. And now we're at a Game 7. I would have signed up for that after Game 4. But after what this team has gone through emotionally, I couldn't be prouder of them.

Thoughts?

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