74° Good Afternoon
74° Good Afternoon

Henrik Lundqvist: 'We played for Marty'

Henrik Lundqvist (30) collects himself after allowing a

Henrik Lundqvist (30) collects himself after allowing a goal by the Pittsburgh Penguins' Jussi Jokinen in the third period of Game 2 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series in Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

There are too many words and thoughts from the players to include here, and we are limited by time and space. I have to grab a few hours sleep and catch a 6 a.m. flight.

So excuse us if we don't include a quote or two...More tomorrow.

So now the Rangers have gone one game further than in John Tortorella's final season, when the lost to the Bruins in five games in the second round. They have a chance to tie the best-of-seven series with the Penguins on Sunday, on Mother's Day, which has added meaning for the Blueshirts this year.

"Tonight we played for Marty and his family," said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 31 saves. "That's the feeling I had going into this."

“When we landed at the (Pittsburgh) airport, we had to go," said Derick Brassard, talking about St. Louis' departure to Montreal. "But if we didn’t have to go, I bet the whole team would have went with him.”

"Guys fed off Marty's emotion," said Ryan McDonagh, who had a goal and assist, played a terrific, game-high 26:53, with four shots on goal, two attempts blocked, and one missed, as well as three hits and two blocked shots. 

"That’s the way I know he can play," said Alain Vigneault. "That’s the way we need him to play. He’s not hurt. And he needs to play that way." In retrospect, he probably deserved a star, along with Martin St. Louis.  McDonagh said the players "could see in his eyes" how much pain Marty was in, "but he composed himself and played...incredible"

Chris Kreider looked far less rusty than in Game 4, delivered six hits and collected two points. Like McDonagh, this is what the Rangers needed in his absence.
Sidney Crosby may have summed up the Pens' performance. “We didn’t even come close to matching the desperation that we needed," he said. But let's remember, the Pens won both games at MSG. Have a feeling it will be a different atmosphere, though, for Game 6 Sunday at 7.


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