MSG airing Rangers 2014 ECF, here are the top 5 moments from that run
In looking back on the Rangers’ improbable postseason run that took them all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before ending in a five-game defeat to the Kings, there are many key moments to choose from when putting together a Top 5 list. But without further ado, and with one eye on the past, here’s my Top 5 postseason Blueshirts’ list.
1. Rangers return to Stanley Cup finals for first time in 20 years with Game 6 win over Montreal at Madison Square Garden:
Okay, there was a greater comeback story with the rally against the Penguins in the previous round, but was it any more thrilling for Rangers’ fans then when the final horn sounded at MSG following their team’s 1-0 win over the Canadians that propelled them into the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in two decades? Don’t think so.
Who could forget Henrik Lundquist’s circus-like blocker save in the second period that kept the game scoreless and allowed Dominic Moore (another remarkable storyline!) to play the hero with the game’s only goal.
2. Marty St. Louis scores 1 for mom:
Left for dead following a Game 4 loss to the Pens at MSG that left them trailing in the series 3-1 and heading back to Pittsburgh, the Blueshirts rallied around Martin St. Louis and his inspirational return to the lineup following the unexpected death of his mother to score a post-season high five goals (up to that point) in a stunning 5-1 victory, pushing the series back to New York.
The stage was set and Marty St. Louis, on Mother’s Day scored the opening goal in on an emotional day. New York would tie the series at 3.
3. Rangers eliminate Penguins with 2-1 road win in Game 7:
After stunning Crosby and the boys in Game 5 in Pittsburgh to avoid elimination, the Blueshirts took care of business on home ice in Game 6 before returning to the Steel City to capture Game 7 by a 2-1 score and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Ironically, it’s Brad Richards and Brian Boyle, both no longer members of the Rangers, who score the goals while Lundquist makes 35 saves to allow the Blueshirts to rally from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the franchise’s 88-year history.
4. Rangers eliminate Flyers in Game 7, while Carcillo takes it to Philly:
Dan Carcillo’s goal (that’s right, Dan Carcillo!) helps the Rangers win their fourth Game 7 in the past three seasons and set the stage for what would be a dramatic postseason run through the rest of the Eastern Conference.
The Carcillo goal really was the cherry on top after his “take that” goal in Philly.
Another key stat: Rangers block 22 shots and hang on down the stretch.
5. The King keeps the Kings from skating with the Cup at MSG:
With not many of the hockey “experts” giving the Blueshirts much of a chance against Jonathan Quick and the Western Conference champion Kings, the Rangers’ jump out to a quick two-goal lead on the road in Game 1, only to drop what would be their first of three heartbreaking overtime losses in the series.
The tempo was set, and the hill was too big to climb. Facing elimination in game 4 and the prospect of watching the Kings celebrate on Garden ice, Henrik Lundqvist summoned one the guttiest performances in Rangers history – a 40 save, 2-1 victory.
So there you have it, two consecutive Game 7 victories. A thrilling six-game Eastern Conference final triumph over the Montreal Canadians on home ice. An improbable Game 5 win over the Penguins on the road while facing elimination. And a Game 4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings that made the statement that the Blueshirts weren’t about to go quietly in the finals despite a three-game deficit.
This was a memorable run indeed.
Editor’s note: Article originally written by Dan Breeman and published in 2014.