Rangers Off to Conference Finals Again

The Rangers won Game 7 in overtime by a 2-1 score. Derek Stepan scored the overtime winner 11:24 into the first overtime period. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 of 36 games.

After dominating the first periods for much of the series, the Rangers were outplayed in the first period tonight. Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring after Ryan McDonagh got caught up high in the zone and didn’t recover, leaving him some space to fire the puck over Lundqvist’s glove. After a period, the Capitals led in shots on goal 15-10.

The Rangers tied things up in the second when they converted on their third straight powerplay chance. After committing a turnover seconds prior, J.T. Miller sent a beautiful pass across the crease for a Kevin Hayes tap-in 6:22 of the second period.

In the third period, Brooks Orpik knocked Dan Boyle out of the game with a check to his head. The legality of the hit is under for debate, but Boyle definitely put himself in a vulnerable position prior to contact. A clearly concussed Boyle tried to stumble to his feet before the play was stopped.

The third period ended with a 1-1 tie, making it the first game seven overtime for the Rangers since the 1994 Conference Finals.

After surviving some sustained Washington pressure early in the overtime period, the Rangers drew a couple icings from the Capitals mid-way through the first overtime frame. Off an offensive zone faceoff, Stepan won the puck back to Yandle, who fed Girardi for a point shot that got through to Holtby and kicked out to Stepan on the right wing. Stepan buried the rebound to give the Rangers the win.

The Rangers have now won four of the last five series in which they’ve trailed 3-2.

A conference finals matchup with the familiar faces of the Lightning is on deck for the Rangers. Game 1 goes Saturday afternoon.

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