Martin St. Louis scored an emotional goal on Mother’s Day to open the scoring, and the New York Rangers put together a solid home ice game to force game 7 in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.
St. Louis, who lost his mother suddenly on Thursday, was in the right place at the right time as Derek Stepan‘s shot was stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury but the rebound went in off the leg of the veteran just 3:34 into the first.
Carl Hagelin doubled the lead less than 3 minutes later, on a goal that shouldn’t go in on an NHL goalie, especially in the playoffs. Robert Bortuzzo pinched in at the Rangers blue line and missed the puck, sending Hagelin and Brad Richards in 2 on 1. Rob Scuderi moved to cut Hagelin off and did a nice job, but Hagelin stopped short and re-established his position. A weak backhander from about the faceoff dot got through Fleury’s arm and chest to put the hometown New York Rangers up 2 early.
Derick Brassard got an insurance marker for the Rangers with less than 5 minutes left in the second, on another bad rebound from Fleury. The Penguins goalie was unable to corral the loose puck after it hit his pad, and some bad bounces (if you are a Penguins fan) off Brassard’s skate, over Fleury, off Brassard’s glove and then fell into the crease where Brassard tapped it home while reaching over the prone Penguins netminder. [related-playoffs]
It was Lundqvist holding the Penguins at bay in the third as they put some pressure on, but they couldn’t solve the Swedish keeper, who made 11 3rd period stops to help the New York Rangers force game 7 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The story of this series is the way the Rangers are getting under the skin of superstar Sidney Crosby. Dominic Moore, Brian Boyle and the duo of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh have essentially shut the Art Ross Trophy winner down and frustrated him at all opportunities.
Game 7 is going to go a long way to determining the legacy of both Crosby and Fleury.