Martin St. Louis left Montreal Friday and flew back to Pittsburgh to re-join his teammates for Game 5 against the Penguins. It was an emotional 24 hours for the New York Rangers forward, whose mother unexpectedly passed away at the age of 63 on Thursday.
The Rangers fought off elimination and beat the Penguins 5-1, forcing Game 6 Sunday back at Madison Square Garden. St. Louis didn't record a point, but played 16:19 with a heavy heart.
Afterward, defenseman Marc Staal gave St. Louis the team's player of the game award, the "Broadway Hat":
The emotional whirlwind of the previous 24 hours didn't distract St. Louis from focusing on the task at hand in Game 5. While he didn't forget about his mom during the game, he found his comfort zone back at the rink.
"This is probably the most comfortable place that you can be as a hockey player is on the ice," he said.
St. Louis received the news about his mom when the Rangers landed in Pittsburgh on Thursday. No one was sure if he was going to play in Game 5, but after consulting with his father at home in Montreal, they both decided playing would be for the best.
"I know deep down my mom would want me to play this game," said St. Louis. "She'd be proud of me coming here and help as much as I can."
"She was a great lady. Best human being I've ever known in my life. I owed it to her to do it. I know she would want me to."
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