A day after the unexpected death of his 63-year-old mother France, Rangers forward Martin St. Louis played in Game 5 of his team's second round series against the Penguins. St. Louis did not record a point but by many accounts from his teammates and coach, provided an emotional boost to a team needing one. The result was a convincing 5-1 win at Consol Energy Center which kept the Rangers alive in the series.
Following the game, St. Louis addressed the media:
On playing tonight's game:
"It was a tough couple of days for my family. I know deep down, my mom would have wanted me to play this game. She’d be proud of me coming here and helping as much as I can. The boys have been so supportive. The support I’ve gotten from the New York Rangers, my teammates, my friends and family, friends around the league, old friends has been unbelievable. I’m glad that we’re able to get this win and stay alive."
"She was a great lady. The best human being I’ve known in my whole life. I owed it to her to do it. It’s been a tough day for everyone. I’m going to keep pushing."
On flying to Montreal last night after learning of her ailment then deciding to play tonight following a conversation with his father:
"I’m excited that I got to be there last night and saw her before they took her away… I’m thankful to the New York Rangers organization to get all that [arranged]. I was able to spend some quality time with my father. That conversation came about. I think he needed that too. I know he’s proud and my mom’s proud right now. "
On winning tonight's game:
"For the short amount of time I’ve been here, the quality people that we have in here is unbelievable. Obviously in a tough time like this, the support I’ve gotten … I didn’t want to be a distraction. I just wanted to go pull out a gutsy win. The boys played tremendous. Guys stepped up really big tonight."
On his teammate providing a sanctuary of sorts:
"It’s always been like that for me. Once you get on the ice … I’m not going to say you forget about the situation. She was with me the whole way … but this is probably the most comfortable place you can be as a hockey player. "
(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)