NEW YORK — If Marty St. Louis wasn't a fan favorite during his first two months with the Rangers, he became one this weekend.
Three days after the death of his mother, St. Louis scored 3:34 into the first period to help New York beat Pittsburgh 3-1 on Sunday. It avoided elimination for the second time and forced a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference semifinal.
St. Louis, the former Lightning captain traded in March, rejoined his teammates for Friday's Game 5 in Pittsburgh after a quick trip to Montreal to be with his family after his mother's death Thursday. He provided a lift to his teammates as they kept their season alive with a win.
Sunday, fans at Madison Square Garden chanted "Mar-ty! Mar-ty!" on his first shift. Soon after, Derek Stepan swiped at a puck in traffic and it went off St. Louis' right leg and in.
"I got a pretty good bounce," St. Louis said. "I know (my mother) helped me through this."
Carl Hagelin made it 2-0 2:51 later.
St. Louis was the first star and patted his heart when he came out to an ovation from the crowd.
"Mother's Day, my dad is here, my sister is here," St. Louis said. "It's been a tough time for my whole family. To be able to get the lead in the first period, it was a good (goal)."
Under coach Dan Bylsma, the Penguins are 1-7 at home when having a chance to clinch a series. Overall, they are 2-6 in home Game 7s.
"We put ourselves in a bad position early," captain Sidney Crosby said. "We fought hard and tried to get back, but you can't continue to do that in the playoffs."
First Period—1, N.Y. Rangers, St. Louis 3 (Stepan, Stralman), 3:34. 2, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 4 (unassisted), 6:25. 3, Pittsburgh, Sutter 5 (Niskanen, Maatta), 16:56. Penalties—Jokinen, Pit (roughing), 9:00; Kreider, NYR (roughing), 11:20.
Second Period—4, N.Y. Rangers, Brassard 4 (Pouliot, Klein), 15:30. Penalties—Bennett, Pit (too many men on the ice), 4:49; Kreider, NYR (goalie interference), 5:55; Bennett, Pit (interference), 8:42; Zuccarello, NYR (tripping), 13:05; Kunitz, Pit (roughing), 20:00; Crosby, Pit (cross-checking), 20:00; Boyle, NYR (cross-checking), 20:00.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Neal, Pit (tripping), 2:40; Zuccarello, NYR (hooking), 3:37; Bennett, Pit (high-sticking), 11:36; Neal, Pit (misconduct) 19:50. Shots on Goal—Pittsburgh 15-11-11—37. N.Y. Rangers 14-11-4—29. Power-play opportunities—Pittsburgh 0 of 4; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 6. Goalies—Pittsburgh, Fleury 7-4-0 (29 shots-26 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 6-6-0 (37-36). A—18,006 (18,006).
Chicago wins: Jonathan Toews scored the winner 4:33 into the third as the host Blackhawks beat the Wild 2-1 to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Young Ducks goalie gets the call after big debut
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks rookie goalie John Gibson, 20, will start tonight's Game 5 against the Kings. The Pittsburgh native made 28 saves to win 2-0 Saturday in his playoff debut and even the series.
Gibson played just three regular-season games with the Ducks. Three days before facing Los Angeles, he made 39 saves in an AHL playoff game about 4,400 miles away in Newfoundland.
"I think there's always nerves. I think you've just got to control them," Gibson said shortly after becoming the youngest goalie to post a shutout in his playoff debut. "Once the first five minutes get out of the way, you start to relax a bit as the game goes on."
Gibson is the third goalie the Ducks have used in the series. Jonas Hiller lost Games 1 and 2. Frederik Andersen hurt his right leg late in Game 3; Hiller finished the game.
Bruin fined: Boston wing Shawn Thornton was fined $2,820.52, the maximum allowed, for squirting water from the bench at Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban during the final minute of Saturday's Game 5. "I obviously got caught up in the moment," Thornton said.