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 1-0 | NYR win series 4-2
New York Rangers: It's been a long 20 years coming but the New York Rangers are headed back to the Stanley Cup Final, just the second time since 1979. While there was little disputing the Rangers were the stronger team in Game 6, there were certainly moments when you thought it might not happen. The Rangers came out flying and just controlled the Canadiens in the first period, starting the game with 11 of the first 12 shots on goal but yet they couldn't break through and when teams can't convert on dominant play like that, it seems to bite them more often than not. But because the Rangers played so well and corrected any and just about every error they had in Game 5, they never gave the Canadiens much room for hope, even in the third period when the Rangers remained the team applying the pressure. It was such a soundly played game from a defensive standpoint and they were generating offensive opportunities too. Now, for the first time this postseason, the Rangers won't need to go seven games and they'll be waiting to find out who their opponent will be from the West.
Montreal Canadiens: That's not the way you want to go out, with barely even a whimper. The Canadiens were never really in this game despite what the score says; they were late to start playing and then worst of all when the third period hit, they had nothing to speak of offensively for half of it. Literally, it took them nine minutes to even register a shot on goal -- one that came from center ice -- when their season was on the line. Credit to the Rangers for that, no doubt, but the Habs were a bit sloppy and their forecheck was pretty much non-existent. They can't use the excuse of Carey Price being injured either because without a doubt, the best Canadiens player on Thursday night was Dustin Tokarski between the pipes. He was leaving some big rebounds but either way he was effective and silenced the Rangers. No, the complaint in this one has to be about the rather lethargic play in the third period and the game as a whole; 18 shots in an elimination game just won't cut it. Still, it was quite the season for the Canadiens and they won't be going away any time soon in the East.
Play of the Game: Dominic Moore finally broke the deadlock late in the second period, the Rangers' fourth line striking again. The play was really made by Brian Boyle with the terrific pass from behind the net to the open spot and around Francis Bouillon to put Moore all alone in the slot. Very well-executed play.
Player of the Game: There are a few players who were very good in this game, including a few from the Habs perspective as both Dustin Tokarski and Thomas Vanek -- yes, Vanek -- were excellent but so were a few of the Rangers, most notably Mats Zuccarello. He was everywhere in the first period, generating all sorts of shots and blocking them as well. He didn't finish with a point but he had a pretty dominant showing which shouldn't be a surprise anymore. His line is a third line in name only. I guess Henrik Lundqvist was OK too.
Turning Point: As noted above, there were very few moments in this game that the Rangers weren't in control but the Habs did have a few chances at least. The best was Thomas Vanek's attempt that was deflected by Dan Girardi and led to this save from Henrik Lundqvist to keep the game scoreless at that time. A couple of minutes later, the Rangers scored.