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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

King Henrik reigns supreme

Rangers' shutout sets date in Boston

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WASHINGTON -- Led by Henrik Lundqvist's 35 saves in a second consecutive shutout, and goals from some unlikely sources, the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 5-0 in Game 7 Monday night to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals.

New York contained Alex Ovechkin again and completed its comeback after trailing in the series 2-0 and 3-2 -- the latest in Washington's long history of playoff collapses.

Sixth-seeded New York faces No. 4 Boston in the second round.

It is the first time New York won a Game 7 on the road in its history.

Arron Asham put New York ahead in the first period, before Taylor Pyatt and Michael Del Zotto made it 3-0 early in the second on goals 2:10 apart.

Ryan Callahan added a goal 13 seconds into the third period, and when Mats Zuccarello scored with about 13 1/2 minutes remaining, thousands of red-clad fans streamed to the exits.

Soon after, when Lundqvist fell forward to smother a puck, chants of "Hen-reeek! Hen-reeek!" from the no-longer-outnumbered Rangers supporters rose in the arena.

"He was really good, but the team was also good, too. I have to give the team some credit. They played hard in front of him," Rangers coach John Tortorella said, before making sure everyone knew this: "Henrik is our backbone."

The last NHL goalie with shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of a series was Detroit's Dominik Hasek in 2002 against Colorado, according to STATS LLC.

Lundqvist, Ovechkin said, did an "unbelievable job; he makes incredible saves."

From the moment Mike Ribeiro's overtime goal gave Washington a Game 5 victory, Lundqvist was simply superb.

The Swede stopped all 62 shots he faced in Games 6 and 7, showing exactly why he won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie last season and is a finalist this season.

A Capitals offence led by two-time MVP Ovechkin managed to score 12 goals the entire series -- and zero over the final 120 minutes.

Indeed, Ovechkin was held without a point in Games 3-7. The Russian wing led the NHL with 32 goals but he heads into the off-season after the longest playoff point drought of his career. He had a goal in Game 1, an assist in Game 2, and that was it.

Ovechkin delivered some big hits early in Game 7, but he was credited with only one shot by the end of the second period, which closed with some boos from the red-clad spectators in the stands.

Asked why his team couldn't score in the final two games, Capitals forward Troy Brouwer replied: "Henrik Lundqvist. Plain and simple."

New York's top scorer in the regular season, Rick Nash, didn't have a goal against Washington, but the Rangers found other players to pick up the slack.

While Callahan did have 16 goals this season, the other four Rangers who put pucks past Braden Holtby combined for a total of only 14.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 14, 2013 D1

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