NEW YORK -- It was a goal literally years in the making, thanks to a shot Martin St. Louis works on day in day out. "The goal he scored tonight is exactly what you see him practise every time hes on the ice," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. "Like 100 pucks, hes trying to put it right there." On Sunday night, St. Louis top-shelf snap shot from just below the faceoff dot was a dagger to the heart of the Canadiens. The goal, which came at 6:02 of overtime, moved New York within one win of its first Stanley Cup final in 20 years with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The win, which gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference final, marked the first time the home side had triumphed in the series. "I felt I had room (on the glove side), and I tried to trust what I saw, and obviously Ive gone to that side quite a bit that last few games and hes made some good saves on me," St. Louis said of Habs goalie Dustin Tokarski. "Sometimes you just have to keep trusting what you see and I was fortunate to get it by him." Said Tokarski: "I obviously gave him some room and he took advantage of it." Game 5 is Tuesday night in Montreal, with the Rangers looking to put the Canadiens to the sword for a third straight game at the Bell Centre. Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard also scored for the Rangers, both on breakaways generated by stretch passes. Francis Bouillon and P.K. Subban -- who played 33:16 on the night -- scored for Montreal. The Rangers outshot the Canadiens 26-24 in regulation. Montreal had a 5-3 edge in overtime. The Canadiens will fly home full of regrets, especially after coming back twice to force overtime. The Montreal power play was one-for-eight and yielded a Rangers short-handed goal. "We had the opportunity on the power play and we didnt take advantage of it tonight," said coach Michel Therrien. "Yes, we scored a goal. It was a timely goal, but we gave up one and that was the (story) of the game. I thought our power play had to be better." And Montreals defensive play on the winning goal was shocking. The Canadiens had several chances to get the puck out of their defensive zone but couldnt do it. St. Louis had so much room he could have parked a Winnebago in the faceoff circle as tired defenders Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin were caught on the wrong side of the play. "Well, we got a few chances to get out of it and move the puck harder in our own end, and it cost us the game," lamented Therrien. It was the third goal of the series for St. Louis, who attended the funeral of his mother between Games 1 and 2. He was buzzing all night, leading the Rangers with five shots on goal in 21:01 of ice time. The goal was his first playoff overtime winner since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final on June 5, 2004 at Calgary as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a largely empty dressing room, the Canadiens looked for positives. They will have a rabid home crowd -- the best in the world, according to goalie Tokarski -- at their back Tuesday as they look to stave off elimination. "I dont think frustrated is the word," said Tokarski. "We had some chances, hit a post late and had a power play (in OT). Its a game of inches and we came short." Said Montreal captain Brian Gionta: "I thought Tokarski played great for us, gave us a chance to win that game. Were not out of the series by any means." History favours the Rangers, who are 12-1 in the 13 best-of-seven playoff series in which they led three games to one after Game 4. Montreal is 2-16 when trailing 3-1 in a playoff series. The last time they overturned such a deficit was in 2009-10 against Washington. But the Canadiens have already staved off elimination in these playoffs, reeling off two straight wins to defeat Boston four games to three in the previous round. "This is far from over," said Rangers forward Brad Richards. "I remember sitting in here down 3-1 against Pittsburgh. They will feel bad tonight, but tomorrow they will wake up in front of their home crowd and once that game starts 3-1, you throw that out the window and it is back in the battle again. "We have to realize the longer it goes the more life and more belief they get, so its going to be a very important start to the next game." Sundays win came 20 years to the day that the Rangers defeated New Jersey 4-2 in Game 6 of the Eastern final. New York captain Mark Messier, who had guaranteed the win, scored a natural hat trick that night. The Rangers went on to beat Vancouver for the Cup. Goalie Mike Richter and five other members of that championship team were in the stands Sunday. New York was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage but scored shorthanded through Hagelin. The Rangers took nine penalties -- including three straight in the third period and overtime -- to four for Montreal. Vigneault did not dispute any of the calls. "We put ourselves behind the 8-ball a few times by taking, I think it was five penalties 200 feet from our net. Were going to have to do a much better job than that," he said. "But give credit to our killers and our goaltender. They did a real good job." After Subban tied it at 2-2 two minutes into the third, Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk rang one off the goal post with a little over three minutes remaining. He thought he scored but play continued. Replays showed Lundqvist got his stick to the puck before it hit the crossbar and bounced down -- in front of the goal-line. With New Yorks Derek Stepan recovering from a broken jaw suffered on a Brandon Prust hit in Game 3, Dominic Moore moved up to centre Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. Brassard returned from injury to centre Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot. J.T. Miller took the place of the suspended Dan Carcillo on the fourth line. For Montreal, Michael Bournival stepped in for the suspended Prust on the fourth line and Bouillon replaced defenceman Nathan Beaulieu. As in Game 3, Montreal found itself down 1-0 after a first period which could have been worse on the scoreboard. New York came into the game not having allowed a power-play goal in its last eight games (22 times shorthanded). And the penalty kill produced offence. The short-handed Rangers went ahead 12 seconds into a Pouliot penalty thanks to a Brian Boyle stretch pass from the blue-line. The speedy Hagelin broke in alone, faked a shot and tucked a backhand through the legs of Tokarski at 7:18 for his sixth of the playoffs. Montreals David Desharnais failed to corral a pass behind the New York goal and Ryan McDonagh poked the puck to Boyle to trigger the play. It was the Rangers first short-handed goal in 70 playoff games, dating back to April 9, 2008. The penalty count was three to one against the Rangers by the 10-minute mark, but the Canadiens power play was sputtering. Montreal began to push back after the goal and Brian Gionta had a glorious chance 12 minutes in on a Lundqvist rebound at the doorstep, but the puck bobbled and Lundqvists pad was there when the Montreal captain finally got control. Tokarski was buried by a sliding Nash five minutes into the second period but survived the collision. That prompted the officials to warn both benches about not crashing the crease. The New York-born Bouillon tied it up with a blistering shot from the top of a circle on a two-on-one with Desharnais after a nifty Rene Bourque pass between his legs. Lundqvist got a piece of it with his shoulder, but the puck still went in top corner glove side at 8:08. At times, the game was like table hockey with both sides looking to open up the other with long passes. Tokarski robbed St. Louis on a breakaway late in the period, catching the puck with his glove as if it was spring-loaded. The Rangers went ahead with 56 seconds remaining in the second when Dan Girardi found Brassard with a superb stretch pass from deep in his own end. Brassard raced in and unloaded a slapshot from the slot to beat Tokarski. Lundqvist picked up an assist, the first by a Rangers goalie in the playoffs since Richter on May 11, 1997. An early Montreal power play in the third -- its sixth man-advantage -- finally paid off when Subban hammered home a slapshot from the blue-line two minutes in. It was Subbans first point of the series -- and first in six games -- but also his fifth goal of the playoffs. Lundqvist recorded his 41st career playoff victory, tying him with Richter for first on the teams all-time playoff wins list. NOTES -- Stepan missed a game for the first time in his four-year NHL career (294 regular-season and 54 playoff games) ... Celebs in the house included New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, ex-Rangers Rod Gilbert and Eddie Giacomin, ex-Giant Justin Tuck, Matt Harvey of the Mets, singer Harry Belafonte and actor Susan Lucci. Mark Barberio Avalanche Jersey
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.Y. -- Dwane Casey admitted hed been concerned about his young Raptors team who had zero experience playing in close-out games -- what awaited them with the vastly-experienced Brooklyn Nets, and how theyd react. http://www.hockeyavalanche.com/authentic-adam-foote-avalanche-jersey/
. -- Terrelle Pryor took the opening snap of the game, put the ball in Darren McFaddens belly and saw LaMarr Woodley crash down. J.T. Compher Avalanche Jersey
. Niese pitched seven steady innings on a rainy Tuesday night and Daniel Murphy had three hits to lead New York to a 6-1 victory over the Phillies. Nathan MacKinnon Jersey
. Nine-year veteran Danny Granger did not make his debut with the Clippers because of a technicality on the teams active list, which is signed by coach Doc Rivers before every game and relayed to the officials. Grangers name was printed by hand by a member of the public relations staff under the heading: "Updated Roster Additions," but the number on the sheet was not circled along with the other active players by the required deadline of 6:30 p. PARIS -- Eugenie Bouchard reached her second straight Grand Slam semifinal Tuesday as she defeated Spains Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-5 at the French Open. However, fellow Canadian Milos Raonic came up short in his bid to reach the mens final four at Roland Garros, dropping a 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4 decision to Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Earlier this year, Bouchard reached the Australian Open semifinal but lost to eventual champion Li Na of China. The 20-year-old from Westmount, Que., will next meet Russias Maria Sharapova after the 2012 champion beat Spains Garbine Muguruza 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. "Im very content with a win like this," said Bouchard. "It was a battle throughout. She played very well especially on long points. "The last set was key for me. Im really excited to be playing Sharapova in a big match here." Bouchard won the first set in an hour, but dropped the second after losing her last two service games. Suarez Navarro jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set before the 18th-seeded Canadian fought back with a key break and service holds. "I wouldnt say I surprised myself, no," said Bouchard. "Ive come back in matches before. Tennis can be like that, a bit up and down. I just really tried to forget about what the score was or anything and just tried to play the right way, you know. "Once I started going for my shots a little bit more it started working better. The third set it was just a really cool atmosphere I think for both of us to be playing like that. Even if I was down 5-2 or 4-1 in the third, (I didnt) worry too much -- keep going, keep going, keep going, and it paid off in the end." Bouchard earned a match point but double-faulted. She put a backhand long on a second chance before clinching victory after two hours 22 minutes when her opponent came up short on a return. Bouchard finished with 46 winners, 38 unforced errors and breaks on six of 14 chances. Djokovic, meanwhile, is a six-time major champion but he still needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam. He reached the semifinals at Roland Garros the last four years, but only made one final, losing to Rafael Nadal in 2012. Raonic, the No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., fired 21 aces but converted only one of two break opportunities in the match, which also lasted two hours 22 minutes. Raonic, the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam singles quarter-final in the post-1968 Open era, stalled in the third set but managed to break Djokovic as the second seed was serving for victory at 5-2. Djokovic closed it out two games later when a Raonic forehand sailed wide. The last Canadian to reach a mens singles semifinals at a Grand Slam was William Johnston at the 1923 US Championships. Robert Powell (Wimbledon, 1908) is the only oother Canadian to reach a mens singles semifinal.dddddddddddd In mixed doubles, Torontos Daniel Nestor and French partner Kristina Mladenovic dropped a 6-3, 1-6, 10-3 quarter-final decision to third seeds Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan and Brazils Bruno Soares. Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam winner, has won both of her previous matches against Bouchard, including a second-round match last year in Paris. Following the tradition begun in Melbourne earlier this year, a fan tossed a stuffed animal to Bouchard and she took it to her on-court television interview. Former French player Fabrice Santoro then insisted on taking a photo with Bouchard as the crowd cheered. Bouchard is the third Canadian woman to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals after Carling Bassett-Seguso (1984, 1986) and Helen Kelesi (1988, 1989). Bouchard and Bassett-Seguso are the only players to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam (Bassett-Seguso, 1984 US Open). Sharapova, meanwhile, started slow Tuesday by dropping four of her first five games. She then started to land her shots and her serves with more consistency and won nine of the last 10 games. Muguruza, who was playing in a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in her career, eliminated defending champion Serena Williams in the second round. Sharapova lost in the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011, then won the title a year later to complete a career Grand Slam. She lost in last years final to Williams. "It was so tough losing in the final last year, being the defending champion," Sharapova said. "This year, to come back, I have the extra motivation to go further, and to be back on (this) stage is a really nice feeling." Sharapova opened her match with a double fault, the first of eight in the match. And she lost 15 of the first 20 points. But even though Sharapova held in the fifth game, she was broken again, this time at love, to lose the first set. Things changed rather quickly in the second set. At 1-1, Sharapova finally broke, with some help from Muguruza. The unseeded Spaniard, ranked 35th in the world, double-faulted twice in a row to give Sharapova her second break point of the match. The tall Russian converted when Muguruza sent a backhand long. Although Sharapova was broken again in the set, again with a double fault, she started to hold serve more easily while giving Muguruza more trouble while receiving. By the time the third set started, Sharapova was moving Muguruza all over the court, landing her forehands and backhands easily. The only hiccup came in the fourth game, when Muguruza had five break points but couldnt convert any of them. "That was one of the most important games," Sharapova said. "After I won that game, I certainly gained more confidence." ' ' '