- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Henrik Lundqvist earned his 41st career playoff victory and his first postseason point with an assist.

The only number that mattered late Sunday night was the one win the New York Rangers need to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 20 years.

“You just have to keep the same mindset that you had for the first four or five games, and the last series. You don’t change anything,” Lundqvist said after the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime victory gave them a 3-1 lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference finals. “You don’t think about what’s ahead. You’re just going in and trying to do your job.”

The Rangers know firsthand just how quickly a 3-1 series lead can evaporate. They dug out of that hole in the previous round against Pittsburgh.

A win Tuesday in Montreal will put New York in the championship round for the first time since they won the title in 1994. A loss will make Game 6 necessary at what will be a nervous Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

“I look forward to that challenge,” Lundqvist said of the return to Montreal, where the Rangers won the first two games of the series. “It’s exciting to know you’re one game away. You have to motivate yourself to get to a level where you’re helping the team.

“That’s pretty good motivation right there.”

Martin St. Louis has been providing inspiration on and off the ice in recent times, particularly since the unexpected death of his mother the day after the Rangers fell behind the Penguins 3-1.

St. Louis tended to family responsibilities for a day before rejoining his teammates in Pittsburgh for Game 5.

The Rangers, who attended the funeral for St. Louis’ mother near Montreal in between Games 1 and 2 of this series, were galvanized as they rallied around their grieving teammate.

New York is 6-1 since her passing, and the latest win came 6:02 into overtime on Sunday when St. Louis netted his sixth goal of the playoffs.

“I had some decent looks,” St. Louis said. “The puck bounced a couple of times. You just have to concentrate on your next opportunity. You get this far, you have to trust yourself. That’s what I try to do, and I was fortunate.”

He has 10 career postseason winning goals and 39 overall. He hadn’t scored in a playoff overtime since Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals when he was with Tampa Bay.

Less than three months since being acquired by the Rangers, he is providing memorable moments that could lead to another championship. St. Louis has a six-game point streak - with four goals and three assists - and three goals in this series.

“He has been great for us ever since he got here,” said forward Carl Hagelin, who also scored his sixth playoff goal. “He shows a lot of tenacity and emotion every time he steps on the ice.”

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