Rangers back in Cup final 20 years later

5/30/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

May 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers pose with the Prince of Whales Trophy after beating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY SportsThings certainly have not always been easy for the New York Rangers in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs but after tonight's 1-0 shutout victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6, the team is headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994.

Much like they did throughout the regular season and in this year's postseason, the Rangers won the hockey game using a specific formula. The team got steady goaltending from their star netminder Henrik Lundqvist, timely goal scoring, played sound defensively, and were disciplined, a formula that usually produces wins for the Rangers.

For Lundqvist, his first appearance in the Cup Final is a long time coming. This is a goaltender that has been the team's backbone since joining the league in 2005-06 and night in and night out, has provided the kind of goaltending that teams need to win hockey's Holy Grail.

In Game 5, Lundqvist was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots. Tonight, Lundqvist responded like his team knew he would and was perfect in stopping all 18 shots he faced.

The team also got timely goal scoring and like at other times this postseason, it was not from one of the team's best players. The goal came from an unsung hero who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in the playoffs this year and one that deserves a lot of praise for the way he has played.

With less than two minutes to go in the second period, Rangers' forward Dominic Moore scored his third goal of the playoffs off a nice feed from linemate Brian Boyle. After losing his wife, Katie Moore, to liver cancer, Moore was extremely courageous to come back and play this year and has been one of the team's unsung heroes this year in the playoffs. 

The Rangers also got the job done defensively tonight. After struggling in Game 5, the team learned from their mistakes tonight and did a good job of picking up the extra man, letting Lundqvist see the puck, getting to loose pucks around the net, and not turning over the puck.

Speaking of playing sound defensively, the Rangers were also a much more disciplined team tonight. After giving the Habs a combined 12 power plays in Games 4 and 5, the Rangers only took two minors tonight and did what they needed to do to stay out of the box.

In all, the Rangers played like contenders when they needed to. Contenders get the job done with good goaltending, big goals, solid defensive play, and by staying out of the box.

Don't look now, folks, but the New York Rangers are just four wins away from winning Lord's Stanley Cup.
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