Rangers vs Capitals Game 7: Recap, Twitter Reaction and Analysis
It was an efficient offensive onslaught from New York, as they tallied five goals on their first 22 shots. Even as Washington finished with eight more shots on goal, the Rangers were simply too powerful offensively.
It doesn't hurt that Henrik Lundqvist pitched a shutout by stopping all 35 shots sent his way.
Arron Asham struck early, scoring 13:19 into the first period to open the scoring. Just 3:24 into the second period, Taylor Pyatt put in a goal of his own to extend the lead.
With Michael Del Zotto netting his first goal of the postseason just 2:10 later, the Rangers were in full control at 3-0.
The Capitals began to step it up, with Braden Holtby finally finding his form in the second period. Just 13 seconds into the third period, however, Ryan Callahan found the back of the net and the decimation continued.
Mats Zuccarello tallied one more for good measure and pushed New York into the next round with the Game 7 blowout victory.
Tweets of the Night
The Verizon Center fans had it none too easy as their hometown Washington Capitals were blown out of the building. In response to their team's shortcomings, the fans in attendance decided to take an alternate route to happiness. Cheering for a player that actually showed up this season.
New York now moves on to play the Boston Bruins in the conference semifinals. This is the second New York versus Boston postseason series of the year, as the Knicks defeated the Celtics in the NBA realm.
Fans chanting rg3— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) May 14, 2013
As for what this means for the Bruins and Rangers, it's imperative that we understand how historic this day is.
The original NHL franchises reunite!
Prior to the game, the Rangers polled their fans to figure out which player's jersey was being favored at the moment. The masses responded and gave us a preview of what was soon to come. It was all about Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist rewarded his loyal followers with a shutout.
Grades for Key Rangers Players
Henrik Lundqvist: A+
As the New York Rangers piled on the goals, Lundqvist affirmed his status as one of the world's elite goaltenders, leading the Rangers' elite defense with yet another display of brilliance.
As the Rangers look to continue their run toward the Stanley Cup, it all starts with Lundqvist. Fortunately, the Swedish net-man proved to be up to the task on Monday night.
Michael Del Zotto: A+
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto was drafted with the 20th overall selection in 2008. Monday night, he showed why the Rangers took a leap of faith in '08, scoring a goal, playing top-tier defense and being on the ice for three of the team's five goals.
Del Zotto did a fantastic job of cutting off shooting lanes all contest. For a Rangers team that is constantly sacrificing their bodies to protect the net, Del Zotto was the defensive leader in the series clincher. It doesn't hurt that he scored a goal and finished with a plus-three rating on the night.
Grades for Key Capitals Players
Braden Holtby: F
One game removed from a strong Game 6 performance, goaltender Braden Holtby put on one of the worst performances of his career. Even as New York was out-shot by his Capitals, Holtby couldn't stop New York's attack.
Washington can't entirely blame Holtby, as they had plenty of goal-scoring opportunities before the game got out of hand. Still, for such a talented young goaltender, it's heartbreaking to see his season end this way.
Alexander Ovechkin: C-
Ovechkin did all he could to put his team on the board, blasting shots to the net and helping the team to control the pace of the game. When it came right down to it, however, Lundqvist was simply too dominant...an excuse a superstar scorer can never justifiably use.
Ovechkin isn't to blame, but the Capitals had to expect their leader to get them on the board at some point. As New York piled on the goals, however, the goal machine was unable to respond.
Yet another disappointing postseason performance by Ovechkin.
Deciding Factor: Goaltending
When it comes right down to it, this game was decided by one goaltender stopping everything he saw and another struggling to keep anything out. You hate to blame any one individual, but there isn't much more to it than that.
Washington controlled the pace of this game and finished with eight more shots on goal than the Rangers. Even still, Holtby allowed five more goals than his opponent.
Lundqvist delivers again and Holtby withers under the bright lights of a postseason Game 7.
Game MVP: Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers
The New York Rangers received an explosive performance from their offense, but it was all about defense in this one. The Rangers must feel good about netting five goals, but they also must be concerned about posting a negative shot differential.
Fortunately, Henrik Lundqvist is the man in net for New York. Even if his teammates hadn't erupted for five goals, the Swedish netminder did all he could to secure a win.
Up next for the New York Rangers is a second-round series against the Boston Bruins.
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