Tonight was an emotional night for Marty St. Louis and the New York Rangers as well. Just 24 hours after the passing of his mother, St. Louis traveled all the way back to Pittsburgh in time to suit up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game 5. Everyone in the room held a heavy heart tonight, and the entire team rallied around St. Louis to put up a huge 5-1 victory. That win now swings the series back to Madison Square Garden where the Rangers will have a chance to force game 7 on Tuesday.
Evan currently has a post up that shows Derick Brassard's reaction after the Rangers sealed the game with an empty netter. St. Louis appeared emotional on the bench, and Brassard wrapped his around St. Louis to embrace him. It was such an awesome sight that I'm sure a lot of people were fighting back the tears because I definitely was. Tonight's game and however many going forward will all be fueled by Marty St. Louis. This team rallied around him tremendously during such a difficult time, and tonight they were playing for #26.
I mentioned earlier when news broke that St. Louis was playing, and everything that happened tonight further signifies it. The Rangers have a really, really tight-knit group in that locker room, and the type of emotion they poured out tonight for St. Louis was simply amazing.
I really enjoyed the last recap that I did where I rambled off a few thoughts on the game, and I figured I would do another similar recap tonight. So, away we go!
- I thought tonight was the first time in a while that Ryan McDonagh actually looked like himself. He was making the defensive plays that we were used to all season long, and he also notched a goal on the power play. I still believe that he is hurt in one way or another, but if he can shift it into that higher gear going forward, the Rangers will be very happy.
- Speaking of the power play, it's amazing what one goal does, huh? Chris Kreider scored on a greasy rebound to the side of the net, and suddenly the Rangers power play had some life. They wound up scoring on their second opportunity later in the second from a Ryan McDonagh blast as well. One of the Rangers biggest issues was their inept power play, and tonight, it finally showed some serious signs of life.
- Derick Brassard also had a massive, massive game as well. He scored a pair of goals, and his entire line was a threat all night long. It's nice to see Mats Zuccarello, and Benoit Pouliot be such a force in the offensive zone once again. The Rangers are going to need more of that going forward if they want to extend this series even further.
- Finally, Henrik Lundqvist continued his strong play once again tonight with some key saves early in the game. With the Rangers holding onto a 2-0 lead, Lundqvist made some beautiful saves to keep it a two goal game. Who knows what would have happened if the Penguins slipped through with a few goals to tie up the game, or worse, took the lead.