Martin St. Louis breathes a sigh of relief after the Rangers win (GIF)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Martin St. Louis made it through an emotional Game 5 after the tragic death of his mother, and then showed some of that emotion on the bench.

For Martin St. Louis to play in Friday night's Game 5, it says a lot of things. It says something about how comfortable the 13-year pro feels—after spending his last 12-plus seasons in Tampa Bay—after joining the Rangers just two months ago. It says something about his character, something that has never been questioned for the three time Lady Byng winner. There was no expectation for St. Louis to play, nor should there have been, but after consulting his father in Montreal following the sudden death of his mother, the veteran forward decided he would in fact participate in the elimination game for the Rangers.

And there were no limitations for the 38-year-old, who skated over 16 minutes, registered a shot on goal, and was awarded the game's third star as much for his courage as his on-ice performance. And when the result was finally sealed after the Rangers scored an empty-netter to push their edge to 5-1, the emotions of the moment began to pour out on the bench as Derick Brassard embraced him.

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It just can't be said enough that for St. Louis to play tonight speaks volumes to the human being he is. It gets lost in the story when a professional athlete suffers a tragedy like the lost of the love one that these people are not super-human. The Rangers certainly put in one of their stronger efforts of this entire postseason, undoubtedly fueled by the collective desire to rally around St. Louis.

And an s/t to @myregularface for the GIF magic.

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