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Elimin8ted: Rangers Move On

The Rangers pulled out every weapon they contained in their arsenal to pull off a series victory against the Washington Capitals in game 7 at the Verizon Center Monday night.

One of the most promising weapons was “the King” himself, Henrik Lundqvist. With two back-to-back shutouts, Lundqvist gave the Rangers an opportunity to come back from a 3-2 deficit in the series. Heading to game 7, and in the opponents territory, one might not have had as much confidence with a team that has lost every game away in the series, but the Rangers knew what was at stake and came out with the win. Even more surprising, the Rangers scored five goals against a netminder that made it nearly impossible for the Blueshirts to sneak anything past him in the opening games of the series.

The Rangers’ Vezina finalist had a stellar performance with 35 saves, maintaing a shut out in the final 120 minutes of the series.

“To have played this well in such an important game, it is definitely going to help us moving forward,” Lundqvist said. “It is a lot about confidence, especially in a game like this and the one [Sunday]. You have to believe you can do it and you can’t question anything. You can’t think too much about things you can’t control. It is about going out and taking care of business and doing the things you talk about — and we did and it paid off big time.” (NHL.com)

It started with an odd man rush that was generated after Mike Green had a great opportunity to score,. Lundqvist made a big save, and the Rangers wasted no time heading the other direction. Chris Kreider made a drop pass at the blue line for Arron Asham. Asham wound up for a one-timer, sending it short side, glove side on Braden Holtby.

Elimin8ted Rangers Move On
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, shakes hands with New York Rangers right wing Arron Asham (45) after a Game 7 first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey series, Monday, May 13, 2013, in Washington. The Rangers won 5-0.
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The second goal came at 3:24 in the second period. Winning a battle along the left boards in the neutral zone, Derek Dorsett and Taylor Pyatt picked the puck off and headed into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1. Holtby came up with the save on Dorsett. The Blueshirts got the puck back up to the points, Steve Eminger received the puck and sent it to John Moore on the left point. Moore drew the Capitals forwards over, leaving Eminger with a wide open shot. Moore got the puck off to Eminger, who ripped a shot on net, not quite getting it past Holtby, but Taylor Pyatt was there to cash home the rebound.

The Rangers generated tremendous puck movement in the offensive zone. It became a game of keep away and at 5:34 in the second period, the Rangers put one up on the board again to make it 3-0. Derick Brassard got the puck off to Michael Del Zotto on the left point. Del Zotto rifled a slap shot on net sending it right by Holtby.

The third period is always a dangerous period, teams can easily come back from a deficit with a quick momentum shift, but the Rangers did not let up. Just 13 seconds into the third period, the Blueshirts’ captain, Ryan Callahan, made a quick jump on John Erskine, and went in on Holtby all alone. Callahan made a forehand to backhand play moving the puck past Holtby to make it 4-0 Rangers.

The final exclamation point on this series victory came at 6:39 in the third period. Eminger dropped the puck off near the blue line for Brassard, the Rangers were in the midst of a change, but as Brassard drew the Capitals towards him, Mats Zuccarello snuck into the offensive zone. Brassard got the pass off to Zuccarello who had a clear lane to the net. Zuccarello capitalized on his scoring opportunity, with a quick deke move right around Holtby.

Henrik Lundqvist raises his stick in celebration as the Rangers knock off the Capitals 5-0 in Game 7. It is the first time in franchise history that the Blueshirts win a Game 7 on the road. Lundqvist becomes just the fourth goalie in NHL history to notch shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series.
(Robert Sabo/New York Daily News)

The Capitals seemed flat, and the Blueshirts seemed anything but. It was a win any coach hopes for especially in game 7 of the playoffs. The Rangers’ defense was able to hold off offensive threats like Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mike Ribeiro, who proved detrimental to the Rangers’ success early on in the series.

Ovechkin had one shot on goal in game 7, and 30 shots for the series.

“He’s one of the best players in the world and I’m just a fourth-line plug,” said Asham, who outscored the Russian superstar 2-1 over the seven games. “So it’s definitely nice.” (NHL.com)

The Rangers elimin8ted, number 8. On to go bear hunting.

The head coach, John Tortorella had nothing but high praise for his comeback kids.

“I think it was probably our best game of the series,” Tortorella said. (NHL.com)

The Rangers will face off against the original six matchup, the Boston Bruins, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals this Thursday at the TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).


Kaitlin Sullivan

Kaitlin Sullivan

Massachusetts native, and avid hockey fanatic, I grew up in a "hockey family" and began spending countless hours in frigid hockey rinks beginning at age 2. I eat, sleep, breathe, and love every aspect of the game and I have always known that hockey was my passion. Unfortunately being a 5'5" female, however, would not grant me a place in the show. The next best thing would be writing and hopefully someday becoming a rink-side NHL reporter. My past reporting experience includes work with ESPNU Campus Connection, WHDH Channel 7 Boston, and Madison Square Garden Network. I am currently a sports broadcasting major at Boston College. Twitter: @kaitEsull
Kaitlin Sullivan

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