NHL: Rangers Advance to Eastern Conference Finals
After the Penguins led the Rangers three to one, New York battled back to win the series and move on the Eastern Conference Finals. This was the first time in franchise history the team would come back from such a deficit.
This win was record-breaking for New York, as it is the first series they have taken from the Penguins in a postseason situation.
The Rangers won with a score of 2-1 in the seventh game. It is the second time the team has won an away game seven in a postseason series, the first time being a year ago today.
Since the Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup win, Pittsburgh has been eliminated from the playoffs four straight postseasons by a lower seeded team.
Throughout the series New York was effective at covering captain Sidney Crosby and getting under his skin. He was given more attention than his teammates and his attitude became known often. In the past two games the Rangers limited Crosby to one goal and two assists. Crosby, who led the NHL in scoring during the regular season, scored zero goals in games five through seven.
Lately, the Rangers have come up big when playing with backs against the wall. They have been 4-0 this postseason in do-or-die situations, and they have won five straight game sevens, with Henrik Lundqvist in front of the cage each time setting an NHL record.
Brian Boyle scored in the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. By the end of the second Pittsburgh would trail despite its 23-13 edge in shots. Jussi Jokinen evened the score 4:15 into the second, but four minutes later Brad Richards gave New York its lead, which would be held the remainder of the game.
Richards’ goal was the difference heading into the second intermission, and it was earned during a power play. Richards now holds an impressive 7-0 record in game seven situations in his career.
Lundqvist was tested during the final minutes of the game but refused to allow the puck past him.
The New York Rangers will face either the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens, which will be determined after Wednesday night’s game seven.