Well this was a convincing way to end the series. The Rangers made a statement in Game Seven, scoring five goals and shutting out the Caps to complete the comeback from down 3-2 in the series. Henrik Lundqvist was good when he needed to be, but the Rangers made sure he didn’t need to be dominant like he was in Game Six. They won the physical battles, and they finally found chinks in Holtby’s armor en route to the rout. There won’t be pictures for this breakdown, I apologize in advance for that. On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Caps 0
Chris Kreider got a big break on this one. As he was getting on the ice for a line change, he went over to pressure Eric Fehr instead of covering Mike Green, who was his man. Green wound up getting stopped by Hank on the breakaway, and Kreider eventually wound up with the puck gaining the Caps zone. He dropped the puck back to Arron Asham, who ripped it through Braden Holtby. Holtby looked to be a bit screened on the play.
Rangers 2, Caps 0
The third line of Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, and Derek Dorsett had a good forecheck and cycle on the shift. The puck eventually gets to Steve Eminger for a point shot that gets deflected on net by Dorsett, and Pyatt –who we have noted has great hockey IQ– was right there to bang home the rebound. Pyatt was wide open for the rebound, and John Erksine got turned around on the play. Pyatt was Erksine’s man.
Rangers 3, Caps 0
The Rangers needed to be lucky tonight, and this one was a lucky goal. Michael Del Zotto received the puck at the point and attempted a hard pass to Mats Zuccarello at the back door. The puck deflected off a Caps player and through Holtby’s legs for the goal.
Rangers 4, Caps 0
The Captain comes through and drives the nail in the coffin. After stealing the puck from Erksine, Cally breaks down the off-wing on a breakaway and slips a backhand past Holtby.
Rangers 5, Caps 0
With the Caps changing Eminger does a good job gaining the zone with Mike Ribiero as one of the two Caps defenders back, and gets the puck to Brassard at the top of the circle. Brassard hit a streaking Zuccarello for a mini-break, who slid it past Holtby.
The Rangers, having dispatched the Caps, now they have a date the Boston Bruins. The Rangers are coming off back-to-back shutouts, and the Bruins are coming off a great comeback in their own Game Seven. This will be a great series, much like this one with the Caps.