NHL Game Summary - Montreal at NY Rangers|
(Thursday, May 29th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 1, Montreal 0
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - For the first time in 20 years, the New
York Rangers are heading to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Backed by Henrik Lundqvist's 18-save shutout and Dominic Moore's second-period
goal, New York grabbed a 1-0 Game 6 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to win
the Eastern Conference finals from Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts marched through the Eastern Conference with a seven-game
victory over the Flyers in the first round and rallied from a 3-1 deficit to
beat the Penguins in the second, before downing Montreal in an Original Six
matchup to punch their ticket to the Cup finals for the first time since last
winning it all in 1994.
"It means a lot. Obviously, it's been a tough year for me," said New York
forward Martin St. Louis, who was acquired from Tampa Bay during the season
and whose mother died earlier during the postseason. "This makes it pretty
cool. Being somewhere for 13, 14 years and changing teams and to get a chance
to play in the Stanley Cup Finals with these teammates of mine, who have been
nothing but great through my tough time in the past few weeks, it makes it
even more special. I am proud to be a Ranger and do it alongside these great
That last Stanley Cup series saw the Mark Messier-led Rangers end a 54-year
dry spell when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games for their
Up next for New York will be either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles
Kings when the Stanley Cup finals begin next Wednesday. The Kings lead that
series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Friday in Los Angeles.
For Lundqvist, this game was a great bounce-back from a Game 5 performance
that saw him pulled early in the second period after allowing four goals on 19
This shutout victory, his first blanking of this postseason, saw him tie Mike
Richter, who backstopped the last New York Cup championship, for most
postseason shutouts with nine, and move past him in playoff victories with 42
for the franchise record.
"When there's only two or three seconds left and you realize you did it, it's
an unbelievable feeling," said Lundqvist. "What took us there is the entire
team really stepped up in key moments throughout the year and especially in
Dustin Tokarski, who started the final five games in net for the Canadiens
after Carey Price went down with an injury in Game 1, did all he could in this
game as he made 31 saves, but it wasn't quite enough to get Montreal back to
the Cup finals for the first time since the team last won it all in 1993.
"I was able to go in there and compete hard," said Tokarski. "A save or two
somewhere in the series maybe changes the way it goes. You always try to get
better and I'll try and improve for sure."
The only goal of the game came late in the second period as Ryan McDonagh
grabbed the puck in the left corner boards. He whipped it around to the right
of the net for Brian Boyle, who threw it out front for a cutting Moore and he
wristed it in low with 1:53 left in the period.
"We got the puck in. We protected it well for a while there and used each
other down low and cycled it well," said Moore. "When Boyle got it behind the
net, I tried to let him know I was there and he made a great play."
Montreal ended the frame on a power play as Brad Richards was called for
hooking with 13 seconds left in the period, but the team was unable to get any
quality chances before the period ended, or when it resumed after the break.
It was all New York early, as the team tried to give itself some insurance,
but Tokarski was up to the task.
Just over six minutes in, a furious flurry in the Montreal zone saw Tokarski
stop Mats Zuccarello on a wraparound from the left side, then turn aside
another Zuccarello wrister before stoning Derick Brassard twice and Benoit
The Canadiens didn't even get their first shot on net in the third until just
over nine minutes in, and the team managed just five in all in the final frame
as New York stymied most attacks before they had a chance to develop.
Tokarski stopped a big shot from Brassard on a break with 2:22 to play, and
Montreal pulled him for an extra attacker with 1:53 to play.
The team, though, managed just two shots over the remainder of the game, and
neither of them were threatening as time expired and the celebration in New
The first period passed without a goal as the Rangers totaled 11 shots on net,
while Montreal managed just five.
New York had an early chance in the frame when Zuccarello charged down the
left wing and threw a shot on net that Tokarski stopped around 1 1/2 minutes
in, and the team had one power play in the frame when Brian Gionta was called
for goaltender interference.
Montreal ended the frame on a power play after Marc Staal was called for
interference with a minute to play, but the frame ended without a score and
the carry-over into the second period failed to bear fruit.
The Canadiens' best opportunity of the contest came with just under five
minutes to play in the second, as Thomas Vanek had the puck down low and tried
to pass it over to the right.
Dan Girardi was diving to cut off the pass and deflected it into the air, with
Lundqvist throwing out the glove and knocking it away from harm.
New York improved to 6-4 as the home team in the playoffs, while the Canadiens
finished 5-4 as the guests ... This was the 15th postseason meeting between
these two clubs, and New York now holds an 8-7 lead thanks to winning the past
two matchups ... Rangers defenseman John Moore served the first of a two-game
suspension stemming from a hit on Montreal's Dale Weise in Game 5. Moore will
be eligible to return for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals ... Montreal
forward Brandon Prust returned to play after serving a two-game suspension for
his late hit against Derek Stepan in Game 3. Stepan suffered a broken jaw on
the play and missed one game.
05/30 01:26:51 ET