PITTSBURGH – Forward Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers spent Thursday night with his family in Montreal, grieving the loss of mother France after she died at age 63.
Hours later, St. Louis was in Pittsburgh for a playoff game against the Penguins. Late Friday night, he was near tears after an impassioned team effort in a 5-1 victory that forced Game 6 in New York on Sunday — Mother’s Day.
The Penguins lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-2.
“I’m glad we’re able to get this win and stay alive,” St. Louis said before speaking of his mother. “She was a great lady, the best human being I’ve ever known in my life. I owed it to her to do it. I know she would have wanted me to play.”
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Derick Brassard scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots for the Rangers.
The Penguins failed to win a closeout game for the sixth time in their last seven chances at home.
At Wild 4, Blackhawks 2
Jason Pominville scored for Minnesota in the second period off the back of Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford’s skate, and the Wild evened the West semifinal series at 2-2.
Justin Fontaine, Jared Spurgeon and Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild.
Crawford gave up four goals for the second straight game.