Marty St. Louis the hero in Game FourMay 26, 2014, by
Martin St. Louis was the hero in Game Four, roofing the overtime winner to give the Rangers a 3-1 series lead as they head back to Montreal. St. Louis was the hero, but the story of the game was the offensive zone penalties for the Rangers. They took seven (!!) of them, but managed to hold Montreal off on six of them, including a critical one in overtime. Undisciplined play almost doomed the Rangers, but they claimed victory from the jaws of defeat.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves, beating out Dustin Tokarski’s 26 saves showing that Tokarski’s steal of Game Three was a steal, not the norm. Goals came from Hagelin, Brassard, and MSL for the Rangers, showing that much needed depth. They also played a significant portion of the game without J.T. Miller, who was injured after being cross-checked by Andrei Markov into the post.
On to the goals (no pictures, sorry):
Rangers 1, Habs 0
After Benoit Pouliot took a high sticking penalty, P.K. Subban pinched in from the point on the ensuing face off, backhanding the puck behind the net. Ryan McDonagh stole the pass and chipped it to Brian Boyle. When Subban pinched, Carl Hagelin simply blew past Andrei Markov to the neutral zone, where Boyle hit him with a perfect pass to spring him for a breakaway. Hagelin slid it through Tokarski’s legs for the early lead.
Habs 1, Rangers 0
I wish I had a picture for this, but NBCSN actually did a good job of showing how this wound up as a 2-on-1. Rene Bourque collected the puck on the boards at the defensive blue line for what would have been a 3-on-2, but Anton Stralman came across from center ice to put a hit on Bourque. Bourque took the hit to get the puck to David Desharnais for the 2-on-1 on Marc Staal. Desharnais got the puck to Francis Boullion, who picked the top corner on Hank over his glove.
Rangers 2, Habs 1
The Habs got caught in a bad change, and Dan Girardi hit Derick Brassard behind the defense for a breakaway. Brass wound up and blasted a slap shot over Tokarski. Even if that hit Tokarski, it was taking him into the back of the net. What a pass by Girardi to spring Brassard.
Habs 2, Rangers 2
If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. This time around, on the sixth powerplay for the Canadiens, Subban finally cashed in on a blast from the point. There wasn’t much to this goal. The Habs moved the puck well, and worked their strategy of getting Subban open for a one-timer from the point. Brendan Gallagher was screening Hank in front on the shot. He may have tipped it, but no one could really tell because it was such a rocket from Subban.
Rangers 3, Habs 2
The Hagelin-Brad Richards-MSL line had a solid shift, as the Habs were unable to clear the zone while MSL just waited on the weak side. Hagelin eventually gained control of the loose puck at the point and hit MSL with a cross-ice pass. MSL was all alone as he walked in on Tokarski, and (FINALLY) beat him high glove side.
The Rangers held the 5v5 puck possession advantage (and the 5v5 close advantage), and had a pretty sizable margin too. However it didn’t seem like that since they were always taking OZ penalties and on the penalty kill. Despite that, they actually did a good job with the puck possession game.
The Rangers will look to close out the series on Tuesday in Montreal and get some much needed rest. The Western Conference Finals will be a dogfight, so closing the series out quickly is best for New York. It sounds easy, but Monreal isn’t going to roll over. Remember, it was these Rangers that overcame a 3-1 series deficit just last round. The Rangers need to put this team away, and put them away fast."Marty St. Louis the hero in Game Four",