On This Date: Martin St. Louis Mother's Day Goal Inspires Rangers

Sean Hartnett
May 11, 2020 - 12:52 pm
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On this day in Rangers history, an emotional Madison Square Garden roared when Martin St. Louis scored on Mother’s Day. The veteran wing was playing with a heavy heart, only days removed from the unexpected death of his mother, France.

From the opening shift of Game 6 of the 2014 Eastern Conference second round, The Garden showered St. Louis with chants of “Mart-y, Mart-y.” Three minutes and 34 seconds into the contest, St. Louis scored a net-crashing effort to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I know she helped me through this,” St. Louis said.

“When Marty scores that goal, it was such a beautiful moment,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. “It got really emotional to watch that, and see him and see what he’s been through. I think the entire team was feeding off that momentum and the entire building.”

The release of emotion was apparent when St. Louis celebrated with teammates. Between Games 4 and 5, St. Louis received the tragic news and returned home to Quebec after the team landed in Pittsburgh. St. Louis suited up for Game 5 and facing elimination, the Rangers rallied to a 5-1 win.

The Blueshirts struck twice within the first seven minutes of Game 6. Carl Hagelin doubled the Rangers’ lead to 2-0 with a backhanded shot that deceived Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.

Brandon Sutter would cut the Rangers’ lead in half at 16:56 of the first period on a bouncing puck that last touched Kevin Klein’s leg. The unlucky ricochet was the only way that the Penguins were able to solve Lundqvist, who saved 36 of 37 shots.

Derick Brassard’s falling baseball swing goal restored the Rangers’ two-goal advantage at 15:30 of the second period. The Blueshirts would kill all four Pittsburgh power plays and Lundqvist saved all 11 third period shots to seal a 3-1 victory.

Having fallen into a 3-1 series deficit, the Rangers demonstrated tremendous resilience to even the series at 3-3. The spirit shown by St. Louis in the face of personal tragedy inspired the Rangers to dig deep and follow his lead.

“He’s really brought us together,” Brassard said. “There’s no better guy to score a first goal for us and get us going. He deserves it, he never quit. He’s one of our leaders on the team. When he plays with emotion, obviously it’s going to have an effect on our team.”

The victory set up a winner-take-all Game 7 at Consol Energy Center (now PPG Paints Arena). Throughout the 2014 playoffs, the Rangers made a habit of responding to adversity with steely determination. Though falling short of their ultimate Stanley Cup championship goal, the 2013-14 Rangers earned a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers.

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