NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers are one game away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 20 years after turning back the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.
Martin St. Louis scored 6:02 into the extra session to give the Rangers a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series that moves to Montreal for Game 5 on Tuesday.
St. Louis' wrist-shot, his sixth goal of the playoffs, was a perfectly placed shot over the shoulder of Montreal goaltender Dustin Tokarski. The goal came after the veteran sniper snuck behind Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin on the right side with the puck hung up on the left-wing boards, took a pass from forward Carl Hagelin after a turnover, and skated in with plenty of time and space to make a pinpoint shot.
"Good play on the wall by Richie (Brad Richards) to keep the puck in and obviously Hags (Hagelin) being in good defensive position and also offensive position to be able to slide it over to me," said St. Louis of his game-winning goal. "I felt I had room and I tried to trust what I saw.
"Sometimes you just have to keep trusting what you see and I was fortunate to get it by him (Tokarski)."
Hagelin and center Derick Brassard scored in regulation for the Rangers.
Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden marked the second straight game in the series where the outcome was decided in overtime. Montreal recorded a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3.
Montreal received goals from defensemen P.K. Subban and Francis Bouillon in regulation.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault wasn't the least surprised of how St. Louis scored his 39th career playoff goal.
"The goal he scored tonight is exactly what you see him practice every time he's on the ice," Vigneault said. "He's trying to put it right there."
The pivotal Game 4 was one of missed opportunities for the Canadiens, who were 1-of-8 on the power play, including one chance in the extra session. The Rangers failed to score on three man-advantage opportunities.
"We walked in the room here and a couple of guys said that we're going to put this behind us and get ready for a bigger game come Tuesday," said Subban. "We did a lot. We had a lot of opportunities, but pucks just didn't go in."
Montreal finally broke through on its power play, receiving a goal from Subban two minutes into the third period. Subban had gone five games in the playoffs without a goal before his slap shot from the center of the blue line tied it at 2.
Montreal was 0-for-5 on the power play Sunday before Subban recorded his fifth goal of the playoffs.
The Rangers forged ahead 2-1 late in the second period.
New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 27 saves in the game, sent a clearing pass around the boards to defenseman Dan Girardi, who threaded a two-line pass right on Brassard's stick. The Rangers forward blasted a slap shot from 20 feet out for his fifth goal of the playoffs at 19:04. The assist for Lundqvist was his first in 85 playoff games.
"We talked about me playing the puck more and helping the D out," Lundqvist said. "I think they are more comfortable with me playing the puck."
The Canadiens tied it at 1 on an even strength goal from Bouillon at 8:08 of the second period. He fired a snap shot over Lundqvist's left shoulder for his second goal of the postseason. Bouillon was making his first appearance for Montreal since Game 2 of the conference semifinals against Boston.
The Rangers took three penalties in the offensive zone in the first 9:28 of the game, killing off all of them, while scoring their first short-handed goal of the playoffs. Of the Rangers eight penalties on the night, six took place in the offensive zone.
New York opened the scoring with forward Benoit Pouliot serving a high sticking penalty. Hagelin received a head-on pass from center Brian Boyle from inside the New York blueline. Hagelin skated in alone on Tokarski and went to his backhand to record his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs at 7:18.
NOTES: Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist tied Mike Richter for first on the team's all-time playoff wins list with 41. ... The Rangers are 37-for-39 on the penalty kill in their last 12 games. ... New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 18 playoff games. ... The Rangers rank first in goals-against average in the playoffs at 2.11. ... LW J.T. Miller replaced LW Daniel Carcillo on the Rangers fourth line after the latter was suspended 10 games for making contact with an official in Game 3. ... New York outscored its opponents 20-8 in the first period of the playoffs. ... Montreal went nearly eight minutes into the game before registering its first shot on goal. ... The Rangers are the second least penalized team in the playoffs, averaging 9.1 minutes before Game 4. They received 18 minutes in penalties in Game 4.