This is real life.
The Rangers are one win away from a Stanley Cup Final birth. In overtime Martin St. Louis finally managed to take advantage of Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski up high and buried the 3-2 game winner. The Rangers now have a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
Thanks to St. Louis’ heroics, the Rangers have been rewarded for leading 128 minutes through four games compared to the Canadiens 3 minutes. In a game in which the Rangers took five offensive zone penalties and couldn’t stay out of their own way, the Canadiens couldn’t break through. They were contained by Henrik Lundqvist and his penalty killers.
With a goal, an assist and eight minutes of penalty kill time, Carl Hagelin was a giant amongst men. He gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead on a breakaway courtesy of a slick pass from Brian Boyle. He then found St. Louis all alone for his game winner. He earned his honor as the Broadway Hat recipient.
The winner of this game was likely poised to win the series. The Habs had an opportunity to take two games at MSG. If they had succeeded, the Rangers would have had to win at least one more game in Montreal. Instead, the Rangers hammered home the second to last nail in the Habs 2014 season coffin.
As the Rangers (and Penguins) know all too well, a 3-1 series lead isn’t a death sentence. The Rangers will have to play their best game Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The longer this series drags out, the more hope the Canadiens will build.
Finish them.. but enjoy this GIF first.