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Rangers cap comeback, top Penguins 2-1 in Game 7

Rangers Close Out Penguins

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Henrik Lundqvist set an NHL record with his fifth straight Game 7 victory, making 35 saves to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and earn a spot in the Eastern Conference finals.

Brian Boyle and Brad Richards scored for New York, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the franchise's 88-year history.

The Rangers did it behind Lundqvist, who stopped 102 of the final 105 shots he faced over the final three games as New York advanced to the conference finals for the second time in three years.

The Rangers will play the winner of the Bruins-Canadiens series in the conference finals. That series is tied 3-3 and Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Jussi Jokinen scored his team-high seventh goal of the postseason for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves for the Penguins, who were outscored 10-3 over the final three games.

The Penguins fell to 2-7 all time at home in Game 7s, including three such losses in the past four seasons.

This one might have been the most painful for the core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and coach Dan Bylsma that seemed pointed toward a dynasty after winning the 2009 Stanley Cup.

Crosby, who led the league in scoring and is an MVP finalist, managed just one goal in 13 playoffs games.

Just as importantly, five springs have now come and gone without Pittsburgh getting a Cup to bookend the one they hoisted in Detroit and changes could be on the way.

The Penguins are just 4-5 in playoff series over the past five seasons, with each loss coming to lower-seeded teams.

There are no such Game 7 issues for the Rangers. Not with Lundqvist in net.

He lost his first Game 7 appearance to Washington in 2009, but has been unbeatable ever since. His fifth straight triumph in a deciding game is a new league mark, breaking a tie he shared with Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour and Cam Ward.

When he's atop his game, Lundqvist doesn't need much help.

He didn't receive much from the guys in front of him, though New York - which was outshot 36-20 - didn't waste a pair of golden opportunities provided by Pittsburgh defensive breakdowns.

Boyle quieted a raucous crowd 5:25 into the game at the end of a pretty breakout.

Derek Dorsett hit Boyle streaking across the Pittsburgh blue line and Boyle tapped it between his legs to Dominic Moore, who waited a split second before sending it back to Boyle.

The veteran forward's shot went between Fleury's legs and the Rangers were in a spot they've become plenty comfortable in during Game 7s over the past three seasons: in front.

The Penguins responded by briefly taking over the game, their momentum cresting 4:15 into the second period when Jokinen pounded home a rebound off an Olli Maatta shot to tie the game.

The goal seemed to get the Penguins almost too keyed up. Matt Niskanen went to the box for tripping and New York's power play, which was laughable when the series began, provided the clincher.

Pittsburgh's Brian Gibbons failed to get his stick down on a crossing pass from Brandon Sutter, nullifying a short-handed chance.

The Rangers took off the other way, and with the Penguins still scrambling to get back into position, Richards took a pass from Martin St. Louis and flipped it into a wide-open net to make it 2-1 before the game's midway point.

Lundqvist did the rest.

He robbed Pittsburgh's James Neal at the doorstep late in the second period and fought off swarm after swarm over the final 20 minutes to improve to 10-2 with the Rangers facing elimination. New York beat the Penguins in the playoffs for the first time in five postseason meetings.

The first four series weren't close.

This one didn't appear to be either until the Rangers rallied behind St. Louis. The veteran forward, acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay, lost his mother suddenly last week. He raced home to Montreal to be with his family only to return for Game 5. New York responded with a 5-1 win that signaled a sea change in the series.

The Rangers controlled Game 6 - with St. Louis scoring the first goal on Mother's Day - and Game 7 was more of the same.

NOTES: Pittsburgh's power play, which tied with Washington for tops in the league in the regular season, finished the series 1 for 20. ... The Rangers are 8-1 in their past eight Game 7s. ... Richards remained unbeaten (7-0) in Game 7s in his career.


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jjjterciak May 14 2014 at 12:54 AM


Flag Reply +1 rate up
fmasone May 14 2014 at 9:22 AM

I am a pequins fan fome N.J. the rangers lundquest save them exciting game

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tonscia May 14 2014 at 9:46 AM

I'm a Ranger fan. I don't see where the Pens played badly, it's just that the Rangers found a way to neutralize them, defense and Lundquist!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
toddisit May 14 2014 at 10:15 AM


Flag Reply +2 rate up
wolfnweys May 14 2014 at 10:43 AM

congrats to them, they deserve it to do as they did, i salute them even thou i am a pittsburgh fan, i think the better team won,

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Yogis Bear wolfnweys May 14 2014 at 11:10 AM

Very classy. As a NYR fan this was some series. I thought for sure you guys were sending game 7 to OT, but King Henry was on fire. Both goal tenders had dominant games in this series. Hopefully you hire a more successful head coach.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
sgvette Yogis Bear May 14 2014 at 4:15 PM

Both goaltenders? Are you high?

Flag 0 rate up
dkdriller May 14 2014 at 10:53 AM

Trade Crosby while the illusion that he is the best still exists.Fire the coach and gm..Let Malkin be the superstar.and buy some goons to do protection work.

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pjgblg May 14 2014 at 11:20 AM

Boooooooo Rangers

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Mark May 14 2014 at 11:21 AM

Syndy crosby chokes again, its called Karma

Flag Reply +1 rate up
toneitup May 14 2014 at 1:41 PM

Good Pittsburgh and Cosbey need some rest...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
LORD EUGENE May 14 2014 at 2:15 PM

Nice win. Rangers can win all the game 7's they want. Only stat that matters is 1 stanley cup win in the last 60 years. Pretty sad

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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