Rangers Find Heart and Power, Stay Alive

New York Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his PPG goal with teammate Martin St. Louis (26) (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his PPG goal with teammate Martin St. Louis (26) (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The New York Rangers played for each other. They played for the right to keep on playing in the 2014 playoffs. But they also played for Marty’s mom. 

In what was an emotional 24-48 hours for Martin St. Louis as he said goodbye to his mom, made a decision with his dad, and played game 5.

After the game, MSG’s John Giannone conducted a wonderful interview where Marty answered with long pauses and a heavy heart. He praised his mom, whom he called “the best human being I’ve ever known” and the NYR organization. He was thankful for how quickly they made the arrangements for him to get there to say goodbye. He played with heart and guts, it was easy for his teammates to follow suit.

To a man, each and every Ranger elevated his play to stave off elimination. The performance was so dominant, you have to wonder where this team was in game 4. Take a look at the stark contrast between games 4 and 5 courtesy of ESPN:





It’s like night and day. The question is, can these Rangers continue to play this way in game 6 on Sunday? The likelihood is they can. Chris Kreider’s return to the lineup, resulted in a power play game in just his second game. It wasn’t beautiful, but Fleury was moving and Kreider’s shot banked in off of him. It ended an incredible 0-36 streak on the man advantage. NY would go up 2-0 when they continued to press their momentum. Derick Brassard, hero of game 1 also became the man in game 2. He converted a feed from Zuccarello as he out powered a Penguins defender in the crease. The Rangers continued to shine with another power play goal, off the stick of Ryan McDonagh. For the first time in this series, McDonagh looked like the potential Norris candidate we saw all year. He was fast, decisive and hard on the puck. He took the body and was positionally sound all night. If he can maintain this play, the odds of taking this to a game 7 increase exponentially. Another key Blueshirt rebounded as well. The most important player in a Rangers’ sweater was incredible. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 of the 32 Penguin shots fired his way. Some of those saves off of spectacular chances and pin balling pucks. The King was focused and tracked the little black disc all over the ice. This was his second game 5 win in these playoffs. It’s a game he has had trouble with in past playoff series, and its good to see him win these crucial games now.

Speaking of history, the Rangers have never comeback from a 3-1 deficit. They say teams that win the Cup, usually make a little history along the way. To steal the playoff motto of the Colorado Avalanche…”Why Not Us?”

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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