Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Rangers win 3-2 (OT) | NYR lead series 3-1 | Game 5 Tues.
New York Rangers: The Rangers won the game despite what at times looked like their best effort to give this one away. They were hardly sharp, taking a remarkably awful seven -- SEVEN -- offensive zone penalties in the game. Still, the Rangers were giving the Canadiens massive fits in transition. Both teams have speed but the Rangers have been using theirs a bit better and have really utilized the stretch pass well in Game 4. Really, it was rather unbelievable how many times the Rangers had players streaking wide open, including Martin St. Louis on the game-winner in overtime. While he didn't stand out as much in Game 4, there's no forgetting that Henrik Lundqvist was again very good for the Rangers. The Habs didn't test him all that much through the first 50 minutes or so but they really turned it on late and into overtime. The good news is the Rangers have to know they can play better, mostly related to their discipline, and they still won, giving them three cracks to close out the Canadiens and return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.
Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens came so close to getting home-ice advantage back in their favor but now seem so far from the Stanley Cup Final. Like we've seen all season, they had their dry spells on offense and their power play was weak given how many chances it had (they did score one though) but they started to get more and more dangerous in the end of the game. Defensively, the Habs left Dustin Tokarski out to dry a few times with the breakaways they allowed but they were also helping Tokarski out in a big way. The rookie goalie was definitely very good, making some excellent saves, but he was also giving up rebounds, lots of them. The Canadiens were getting to them more often than not, making a dangerous situation safe. The irony is that the Canadiens probably played a better game than they did in Game 3 yet this one they lose.
Play of the Game: The real play is Martin St. Louis' winner but that goal deserved its own story. This wasn't a game-deciding goal or anything (though it did give the Rangers a lead at the time) but about this from Derick Brassard in his return to the Rangers lineup. It's not often you see a breakaway slap shot but Brassard pulled it off and beat Tokarski for the goal. He shot the puck approximately 327 MPH, give or take a couple MPH.
Player of the Game: When it's a tough call on the winning team between a couple of players, it's always best to take the guy who scored the winner, St. Louis. It was more than just his oT goal but St. Louis had five shots on goal in the game and attempted four more in 21:01 of ice time, getting credited with five scoring chances. It looked like Tokarski was getting in his head but not so much now. Other options: Carl Hagelin and, of course, Henrik Lundqvist.
Turning Point: This game never had tremendous ebbs and flows, it was pretty evenly played, even with all of the Rangers penalties. But in the closing minutes of regulation, the Canadiens were coming strong at the Rangers, hemming them in the zone at times. There was also this shot from Alex Galchenyuk that came THIS close to going in, slightly deflected by Lundqvist (vine via @cjzero). Getting through that end of the third was it for the Rangers.
GIF of the Game: Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault had eventful off days as the sniping back and forth picked up. But normally they are good friends, something Therrien said will return as soon as this series is done. Well before Game 4 they had a little moment as Therrien walked into the arena and Vigneault drove. Therrien had a good laugh (via @MyRegularFace).