The New York Rangers will live to fight another day once again as they defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1, and force a game seven on Tuesday evening. There really are no words to describe the amount of heart and determination this team has shown over the course of these last two games. There is absolutely no quit in this team, and it's just amazing what they were able to accomplish in order to force game seven.
Here are a few thoughts on tonight's game.
- Martin St. Louis. What else can you say about this man? With the amount of hardship he has faced throughout these last three days, he's handled like an absolutely gentleman. Not many can turn a corner that quickly and then play the type of game he did tonight. Then he caps it off by scoring the games first goal, which only makes the story that much better. You really couldn't have scripted that any better.
- Carl Hagelin was on Hockey Night In Canada during the first intermission, and he served up one of the most inspirational quotes I've seen if quite a while. "We always talk about inspirational sports stories. This is one." The way this team has completely rallied around St. Louis is just amazing, and they continue to pour their heart out for him. Just awesome.
- How about Derick Brassard as well? He just continues to score huge goals in the playoffs, and his late second period goal just another one to add to the list. The Rangers were back on their heels for a decent bit, and then Brassard taps in that beautiful goal. How about the hand-eye coordination to knock the puck off his glove, and get a stick on the puck all while practically laying on his back? Takes a whole lot of skill to pull that move off.
- Finally, this game probably wouldn't have been close had it not been for Henrik Lundqvist. These last two games he's been nothing but locked it, and he's been the playoff version of Lundqvist we are all used to by now. The Penguins surely aren't going to laid down and take a beating in game seven, so Lundqvist is going to need to be on his game on Tuesday night as well.
So it all comes down to one final game between these two teams. Winner takes all, and advances to face either the Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final. Because it has worked for the last two games, we might as well keep it rolling.