Meanwhile, Back East: Blueshirts On The Brink

Martin St. Louis celebrates his game four overtime winner. - Al Bello

After taking the first two on the road, the Rangers battled the Canadiens in a pair of overtime tilts to get within a game of the Stanley Cup Final.


The first game of the Eastern Conference Final featured the Rangers scoring pairs of quick hitting goals in the first two periods, putting two on the scoreboard in 1:52 of the first seven minutes of the first period, and another couple in 0:49 of the last 1:01 of the second period. The most important moment of the series came on a breakaway later in the second period by Chris Kreider as the Ranger winger bowled into Canadiens goalie Carey Price, injuring the gold medal winning goalie. New York outshot Montreal 28-22, converting on three of seven power plays and getting seven different goal scorers in the series opening win.


After rolling over the Canadiens in game one, the Rangers needed a sterling showing from Henrik Lundqvist to complete the two game home ice swipe to begin the series. Rick Nash scored his first goal of the postseason and first marker since April 10 in the final moments of the first period that proved to be the game-winner. The star of the game for New York was Lundqvist though, stopping 40 shots including 19 in the third period to seal the deal.


With a 2-0 advantage in the series the Rangers and their fans were anticipatory of jumping to within a game of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, but Montreal wouldn't have it. Goalie Dustin Tokarski had his moment to shine for the Canadiens, making 36 saves in regulation and an additional in the extra session after Kreider tied the game in the dying moments of the third. With Tokarski holding the fort, Montreal was able to eke out an extra session win to make it a series.


For the second game in a row the proceedings would require an extra session, forced by an early third period power play tally from P.K. Subban. A continuing story for the game was the Rangers penalty troubles, as the Canadiens drew eight power play opportunities for the game but only had the singular conversion in the final regulation period. The Ranger penalty kill was spectacular, setting up the first goal of the game from Carl Hagelin on a breakaway, and surviving an offensive zone penalty for holding the stick by Benoit Pouliot in the opening moments of the extra session. It was an appropriate cap to have Martin St. Louis seal the deal in overtime, putting New York a game from their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since their historic triumph in 1994.

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