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Rangers' St. Louis gets first goal, some confidence

by Brian Compton / NHL.com

TAMPA -- When New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis scored his first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday, he couldn't hide his emotions.

It took him 16 games, but St. Louis one-timed Derick Brassard's feed past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop for a power-play goal 5:08 into the third period of the Rangers' 5-1 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena.

Nearly seven weeks had passed since St. Louis scored a goal. His attitude and approach remained positive throughout, but he admitted after the win that the process was difficult to endure.

"The games keep piling on [without scoring], you're getting chances, of course you press," said St. Louis, who hadn't scored since April 6 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. "Any guy that tells you they don't press, they're lying. You're squeezing the stick a little bit, but you've got to play the game. You can't just try to get goals, you've got to play the game 200 feet. You do that, sometimes you get rewarded, and tonight I did."

His first goal of the postseason came in the building where he helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup 11 years ago. It also helped the Rangers even this best-of-7 series 2-2 with Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"It felt good," said St. Louis, who screamed at the top of his lungs after the puck went past Bishop. "I mean, you score a goal, you get a second wind, you're not as tired. The feeling is great, and I think the rest of your game sometimes just comes together after that."

St. Louis, acquired from Tampa Bay at the NHL Trade Deadline last season, wasn't the only Rangers forward to get back on the score sheet Friday; left wing Rick Nash, who had two goals this postseason, scored twice. Considering New York was able to reach the Eastern Conference Final with little offensive production from two of their biggest threats, the confidence likely will grow now that St. Louis and Nash each scored in Game 4.

Nash led the Rangers with 42 goals in 79 games during the regular season; St. Louis had 21 in 74 games.

"We're trying to go every night," St. Louis said. "We're trying to play a 200-foot game. [Nash] is probably one of the best two-way players in the League and he can erupt at any time. So for us, yeah, we both want to score goals. We're trying to win games. We're trying to help the team win games. It's nice to be part of it.

"We wanted to contribute [since] Game 1. You don't, like, wait all of a sudden to contribute. You try to contribute every game."

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