NHL Diary: Rangers Force Game 7
Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
NY RANGERS 3, Pittsburgh 1 – series tied 3-3
CHICAGO 2, Minnesota 1 – CHI leads series 3-2
ST. LOUIS, RANGERS FORCE GAME 7 WITH EMOTIONAL MOTHER’S DAY WIN
Playing on Mother’s Day just three days after his mom passed away, Martin St. Louis scored 3:34 after the opening the face-off to help the Rangers force a Game 7 versus the Penguins.
* St. Louis, whose father and sister were in the stands, snapped a nine-game goal drought and seven-game point drought. He now has 3-4—7 in 13 contests this postseason, including a team-leading 2-3—5 in seven games at Madison Square Garden.
* ICYMI: St. Louis was named First Star and delivered a passionate locker-room speech following the victory.
* The Rangers now have won nine of their last 11 games when facing elimination (dating to Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at OTT).
* The Rangers also now have won seven consecutive home games when facing elimination (dating to Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. PIT). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, their seven-game home winning streak in that scenario is tied for the NHL record. The only other teams to win seven straight home games when facing elimination: the Red Wings (twice, from 1934-40 and 1949-55) and Canadiens (1941-50).
* After falling in Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers also now have won at least one home game in 13 consecutive postseason series (dating to the 2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. ATL). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the second-longest active streak in the NHL; only the Bruins, at 15, currently have played more consecutive playoff series with at least one home victory.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves, his most in any game this postseason, to improve to 9-2 with a 1.35 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts in the last 11 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination. He also improved to 7-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .967 save percentage and two shutouts in the last seven games in which the Rangers have faced elimination on home ice.
* Lundqvist became the 23rd goaltender in NHL history to appear in 80 playoff games and 18th to do so with one team. He also started his 79th consecutive postseason game, tying Marc-Andre Fleury for the third-longest streak for one team in League history.
* Carl Hagelin recorded his first career playoff game-winning goal (42 GP). He posted a career-high five game-winners in 72 contests during the regular season and now has a career-high 4-3—7 in 13 games during the postseason.
* Derick Brassard added his fourth goal of the playoffs, tied for the team lead with Hagelin. He also paces the team with four goals and five points in the Second Round (6 GP).
* The Rangers now have forced a Game 7 for the second time in franchise history when trailing a series 3-1 (17 total occasions). The only other instance: the 1939 Semifinals, which they lost to the Bruins in triple-overtime of Game 7 (trailed 3-0 to begin series).
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Mother’s Day, my dad is here, my sister is here. It’s been a tough time for my whole family. To be able to get the lead in the first period, it was a good one . . . I got a pretty good bounce. I know [my mother] helped me through this. It’s a great win by the guys.” – Rangers forward Martin St. Louis
“It’s probably one of the cooler things I’ve been a part of in my professional career. The emotion on that goal is something that I will never forget.” – Rangers forward Derick Brassard
“We set the tone right away, and when Marty scores that goal, it was such a beautiful moment. It really got emotional to watch that, and see him and what’s he’s been through. I think the entire team was feeding on that moment, and the entire building.” – Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
“The emotion on that goal is something I will never forget. With what he’s been through in the past couple of games, for him to score a goal, and in the way he did, it is something I won’t forget for sure.” – Rangers forward Derek Stepan
“I think what helped us along was scoring the first goal. It’s Marty, and the fans start cheering his name. It was a real strong emotional moment with a player who has been through a lot.” – Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault
TOEWS POWERS BLACKHAWKS TO 3-2 SERIES LEAD
Knotted at 1-1 after 40 minutes, Jonathan Toews scored the decisive goal 4:33 into the third period to power the Blackhawks to a 3-2 series lead against the Wild.
* Toews now leads all players with a career-high four game-winning goals in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He also ranks first in Blackhawks history and tied for seventh among active players (with teammate Marian Hossa) with 10 career game-winning goals in the postseason:
CAREER PLAYOFF GAME-WINNING GOALS, ACTIVE PLAYERS
1. Jaromir Jagr: 16 (202 GP)
2. Patrick Marleau: 15 (147 GP)
3. Daniel Briere: 13 (116 GP)
4. Johan Franzen: 12 (107 GP)
t-5. Daniel Alfredsson: 11 (124 GP)
t-5. Teemu Selanne: 11 (126 GP)
t-7. Marian Hossa: 10 (163 GP)
t-7. Jonathan Toews: 10 (86 GP)
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Toews also became the fourth player in Blackhawks history to score at least four game-winning goals in one playoff year. The others: Dustin Byfuglien (five in 2010), Bobby Hull (four in 1971) and Darryl Sutter(four in 1985).
* Bryan Bickell posted his sixth goal of the postseason, tied for the League lead withMarian Gaborik, Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin. Bickell now has scored in five consecutive home games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Blackhawks player to accomplish that feat since Patrick Kane did so from April 16-May 3, 2010.
* ICYMI: Bickell was mic’d up for his goal, which tied the game at 1-1 midway through the second period.
* Hossa picked up the primary assist on Toews’ game-winner and now has 1-8—9 in his last five outings. He also paces the team with nine assists and 11 points in 11 games this postseason.
* Corey Crawford made 27 saves, including 14 in the third period, to improve to 6-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average, .956 save percentage and one shutout in six playoff appearances at United Center (8 GA). He has a 1-4 record, 2.91 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in five road starts (17 GA).
* The Blackhawks now have a 14-2 record in Games 4-7 dating to the start of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their only losses: Game 4 at DET in 2013 CSF (2-0) and Game 4 at MIN in 2014 Second Round (4-2).
* The Blackhawks improved to 6-0 at United Center this postseason and now have won 17 of their last 19 home playoff games dating to 2013.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Blackhawks became the first team to win a game in the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs when allowing the first goal (1-19).
STARTING TIMES FOR TUESDAY’S GAMES
The NHL announced the starting times for Tuesday’s schedule of Second Round games:
* The starting time for Game 7 between the Penguins and Rangers has been set for 7:00 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh. In the U.S., the game will be seen on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS.
* The starting time for Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Wild has been set for 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT in Minnesota. In the U.S., the game will be seen on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be televised on TSN and RDS2.
The home team now has won all five games in the Blackhawks-Wild series. Chicago (6-0) and Minnesota (5-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams at home in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs . . . Penguins forward Brandon Sutter recorded his fifth goal of the postseason, one off the League lead . . . Forward Erik Haula scored the Wild’s lone goal and now has 3-3—6 in 12 playoff games. He registered 6-9—15 in 46 outings during the 2013-14 regular season . . . Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp (0-2—2) posted his second multi-point game of the postseason . . . The Department of Player Safety fined Bruins forward Shawn Thornton $2,820.52, the maximum permitted under the CBA, for unsportsmanlike conduct during Game 5 of the team’s Second Round series versus the Canadiens . . . ICYMI: The NHL community took to Twitter to pay tribute to their moms on Mother’s Day . . . Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrated the Blackhawks’ Game 5 victory with his daughter Ilana.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ Montreal, Game 6, BOS leads 3-2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Los Angeles @ Anaheim, Game 5, series tied 2-2, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
For the third consecutive year, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
Source: NHL MediaNHL Diary: Rangers Force Game 7 by Sports Talk Florida