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Rangers stave off elimination via inspiration

The New York Rangers climbed back into their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, turning the tables on a team that's offensively dominated them via a 5-1 win in Pittsburgh...

But "the story" of the game didn't involve Derek Brassard's 2-goal game or Henrik Lundqvist's 31-save performance: it involved the inspiration the Rangers took from a player who posted no points in Martin St. Louis.

ESPN's Scott Burnside suggests that St. Louis' presence in the lineup--a day after his mother passed away--inspired the Rangers to reestablish their game:

Where we saw a New York Rangers team drained of emotion, fragile, beaten; they revealed themselves to be proud, defiant, finding a hitherto unknown wellspring of will in beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in Game 5 to keep their playoff hopes alive for at least one more game.

Maybe it was the emotionally charged locker room as the Rangers rallied around a grief-stricken Martin St. Louis who chose to return to Pittsburgh from Montreal to play in Game 5 after his mother passed away suddenly Thursday.

There is no denying that his decision to return to his teammates, many of whom he has known only a matter of months since coming to the Rangers from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline, resonated throughout the locker room.

"We are a team and we're a close team. In the short time he's been here, he's pretty magnetic. He's got a love for this game and being around the rink and the guys already that we all appreciate and know, and the respect that we have for him. It was tough for all of us. But that's something that was impressive watching him tonight," Brian Boyle said. He's a special, special person."

Burnside continues, and here's a highlight clip...

And NHL.com also posted a clip of St. Louis' post-game comments, as well as a sidebar story by Adam Kimelman:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, martin+st.+louis, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com