New York • Mourning and heartbreak have accompanied Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore during the New York Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup finals.
The unexpected death of St. Louis’ mother during these playoffs kept him away from hockey for one day. Moore was out of the NHL for 1 ½ years after his wife contracted a rare and ultimately fatal illness.
Now they are finding solace on the ice and in the close-knit New York dressing room. The veteran forwards have provided key goals that have fueled the team’s surge to the Eastern Conference title.
In the conference finals against Montreal, St. Louis scored in overtime of Game 4 to give the Rangers a 3-1 series lead. Moore netted the only goal Thursday as New York advanced to the Cup finals for the first time in 20 years with a Game 6 victory at raucous Madison Square Garden.
The 38-year-old St. Louis has been counted on to score during his long career. Moore, a grinder, is chipping in from the Rangers’ gritty fourth line. Of his three playoff goals, two have been game-winners.
"It’s an incredible feeling to be able to play for the Cup," the 33-year-old Moore said. "The opportunity is something special that you look forward to since you’re a kid."
It is a dream that might have seemed lost not long ago.
Moore stepped away from the San Jose Sharks in April 2012 during the playoffs to take care of his wife, Katie, who died in January 2013 from liver cancer at 32.
Moore began his NHL career with the Rangers during the 2003-04 season after playing at Harvard. He had stints with Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Tampa Bay and San Jose, before returning to New York last summer on a one-year, $1 million deal.
"It’s been a long, pretty amazing journey, so far, and hopefully it continues," Moore said. "I owe a lot to my teammates for helping me get through this last year and a half."
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.