The New York Rangers erased a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in their history on Monday night, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at the Consol Energy Center to win their Eastern Conference semifinal series 4-3.
With the win, the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2012. They’ll await the winner of Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.
The story of the night was Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who made 35 saves, including several at point-blank range, to will his team to victory. Lundqvist’s win, his fifth straight in Game 7’s, is an NHL record.
Brian Boyle put the Rangers on top early in the first period, beating Marc-Andre Fleury on assists from Dominic Moore and Derek Dorsett. The Penguins dominated the play for the remainder of the period but weren’t able to get the equalizer.
The Penguins continued pressing, just over four minutes into the second period, Jussi Jokinen beat Lundqvist to get his team level.
But the play of the game would come just two-and-a-half minutes later when Matt Niskanen took down Derick Brassard and was called for tripping.
On the ensuing power play, Brad Richards, who has remarkably never lost a Game 7, was in the right place at the right time, burying the puck past Fleury for the eventual game-winning goal.