Thanks to two second-period goals by Marc Staal and Dan Girardi and a stellar third-period effort by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 27 saves, the New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Rangers advance to face the Washington Capitals in the conference's semifinal round.
Girardi's goal 9 minutes, 41 seconds into the second period proved to be the game-winner, but it was the third-period performance of Lundqvist (nine saves in the final 20 minutes, a majority fantastic) that cemented the do-or-die victory for the Rangers.
In the end, New York relied on its defense and grind-it-out style to pull off the win.
"They're a good team," captain Ryan Callahan said after the game to NBC Sports Network. "They have a lot of offense."
Callahan and Derek Stephan, who found a seam between the legs of Sergei Gonchar, assisted on Staal's first goal, while Brandon Dubinksy and Brandon Prust collected apples on Girardi's score.
The Senators' lone goal was scored on a power-play in the second period by Daniel Alfredsson, who capitalized on a cross-checking penalty on the Rangers' Michael Del Zotto.
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