The Rangers intended to make a last stand Monday night and sparked something even better: a new beginning. Game 7 at the Verizon Center was nothing short of a Blueshirt rebirth, a 5-0 statement steamrolling of the three-seed Washington Capitals built on the foundation of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and peppered with contributions from humble grinders who have embraced the underdog role on the Eastern Conference's sixth seed in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, captain Ryan Callahan and Mats Zuccarello all scored to overwhelm the Caps, who couldn't penetrate the New York defense after entering the playoffs as the NHL's hottest team. Lundqvist made 35 saves to record his second consecutive shutout to win a Game 7 on the road for the first time in franchise history and carry the Rangers back from a 2-0 series-opening deficit for the first time since 1996. The Rangers earned a second-round matchup with the Boston Bruins, who shocked the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night, 5-4, in a furious, three-goal, Game 7 overtime comeback in Beantown. It will mark the first playoff series between the Rangers and Bruins since 1973, when current Rangers general manager Glen Sather wore the blue shirt. As the Rangers' victory went final, the NHL was deciding on when to open the Rangers-Bruins best-of-seven, though it was expected to open Thursday night in Boston. The Blueshirts may have failed to meet expectations this season coming off a conference finals appearance last spring as the East's top seed, but with Lundqvist playing at such a high level and depth scoring rearing its head, there is no telling how much noise John Tortorella's club can make. New York had a 2-1-0 record against the Bruins this season, with one victory in a shootout and another in overtime.
NY Rangers rout Capitals 5-0 in Game 7
New York Daily News | May 14