On Sunday May 11, the New York Rangers faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game six of their second round series; hoping to again stave off elimination. But this Sunday was not just any Sunday, it was Mother’s Day.
It was the first Mother’s Day that Rangers forward Martin St. Louis would spend without his own mom. Three days earlier, St. Louis ‘ mother, France, tragically passed away from a heart attack. She was 63.
With a heavy heart, St. Louis responded with a performance that would have made his mother proud; scoring the first goal of the contest, and providing the Rangers an emotional lift.
"We set the tone right away, and when Marty scores that goal, it was such a beautiful moment," said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who had 36 saves in the win. "It really got emotional to watch that, and see him and what's he's been through. I think the entire team was feeding on that moment, and the entire building."
Off of a Derek Stephan shot, the puck would deflect off of St. Louis and into the net. After scoring, St. Louis would scoop up the puck, intending to give it to his father, Normand; who was in attendance along with Marty’s sister, Isabelle.
“It's a puck that has got significance for everybody that has been supportive of me and my family," said St. Louis.
New York would also get goals from Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard; defeating Pittsburgh 3-1. St. Louis was befittingly named the game’s first star. The Rangers will now face Penguins on Tuesday, in an all-decisive game seven.