(Sports Network) - For the second straight spring the New York Rangers and
Washington Capitals will battle in a Game 7, as the clubs clash Monday evening
in a decisive contest at Verizon Center.
The sixth-seeded Rangers used a stellar performance from goaltender Henrik
Lundqvist to take Game 6 by a 1-0 score on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
However, New York will have to become the first road team to win a game in
this series in order to take the Eastern Conference quarterfinal battle. The
Rangers won last year's Game 7 against the Caps, using home-ice advantage to
skate away with a 2-1 victory in the final contest of the conference
In this year's series, Washington claimed Games 1 and 2 in D.C. before the
Blueshirts posted a pair of 4-3 wins over the next two meetings at MSG. The
third-seeded Caps then won a 2-1 overtime decision on Friday before Lundqvist
anchored the Rangers to the Game 6 victory.
Washington is just 3-8 all-time in Game 7s, while the Rangers are 5-5.
Derick Brassard scored the game's lone goal and Lundqvist posted a 27-save
shutout to help the Rangers stave off elimination on Sunday.
Lundqvist, making his 60th consecutive postseason start between the pipes,
stopped 12 shots over the final 20 minutes to secure his seventh career
"I feel like they always come a little harder in their home building, but we
can build on this one," Lundqvist said. "From the get-go we did all the things
we talked about...forechecked, played physical. It was fun."
Washington netminder Braden Holtby played admirably in defeat, stopping 28-
of-29 shots, but the Capitals were unable to solve the reigning Vezina Trophy
winner Lundqvist in falling for the third straight time at Madison Square
"We've been taking too many penalties here on the road," Washington forward
Niklas Backstrom admitted. "That's something you can't do if you're going to
win a road game."
New York finished 0-for-5 on the power play, but did not allow the Capitals to
skate on the man advantage
The Rangers won Game 6 despite playing without defenseman Marc Staal and
forwards Ryane Clowe and Darroll Powe. All three players are doubtful for
Monday's Game 7.
Washington forward Martin Erat is also doubtful for Game 7 with an arm injury
sustained in Game 4.
Lundqvist is 2-1 with a 1.34 GAA in three career Games 7s and Holtby is 1-1
with a 1.48 GAA.
Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with two goals and two assists in six career
Game 7s, but his team is 2-4 in those outings.
Rangers forward Brad Richards, a former Conn Smythe winner with Tampa Bay in
2004, has one goal and three assists over four Game 7s and has never lost in
The Capitals were 15-8-1 as the host during the regular season, while New York
was 10-12-2 as the guest.
The winner of Monday's Game 7 will face either Boston or Toronto in the second
round. The Bruins are hosting the Maple Leafs in another decisive game on
The Sports Network