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Lundqvist, Rangers complete comeback, knock Penguins out in Game 7

May 13, 2014, 9:46 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Six Getty Images

On four occasions during this postseason, the New York Rangers saw their season at risk of ending with one loss. They answered the call all four times, including in Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, advancing to the conference finals with a 2-1 win.

To put it mildly, many will merely focus on the Penguins watching a 3-1 series lead slip away. You’ll see plenty of that fallout on PHT tonight.

Still, it’s easy to dismiss the triumphs of a team like the Rangers considering the juicier story like the Penguins “choking.” Make no mistake about it, though, the Blueshirts have been fantastic with their backs against the wall in these playoffs; NBCSN flashed the telling stat that the Rangers hadn’t trailed against the Penguins since Game 4 of this series.

Plenty of players stepped up for the Rangers, but Henrik Lundqvist really cemented his legacy as a guy who somehow finds another level in the biggest games (even if his team hasn’t made it to the Stanley Cup Final yet in his otherwise distinguished career). After all, the Penguins managed a 36-20 shot disparity in this do-or-die game.

The stupendous Swede limited opponents to one goal in each of his opponents’ four opportunities to eliminate the Rangers during these playoffs. Check out his work in greater detail:

vs. Pittsburgh:

Game 5: 36 out of 37 saves
Game 6: 31 out of 32 saves
Game 7: 35 out of 36 saves

vs. Philadelphia:

Game 7: 26 out of 27 saves

Lundqvist and the Rangers have won five Game 7 contests in a row.

While a visit from Mario Lemieux seemed to set Marc-Andre Fleury on the right path – despite a setback and a shaky bit of puckhandling here and there – it seems like it might have come too late for Sidney Crosby. The NHL’s far-and-away leading scorer failed to score a single point in three elimination opportunities against the Rangers.

Evgeni Malkin grabbed an assist on Tuesday and had a strong series, yet the two didn’t dominate enough collectively for the liking of many, prompting the posting of stats like these:

It’s easy to boil it all down to Crosby, Malkin and Fleury “not getting it done.” Plenty of people will.

That ignores great efforts by Lundqvist and turnarounds including the Rangers winning the special teams battle. After all the hand-wringing about New York’s man advantage struggles, the Rangers scored three power-play goals in this series while the Penguins only managed one.

Brad Richards‘ PP goal stood as the winner:

Brian Boyle stood tall during many moments of Game 7, making some big plays and scoring the all-important first goal of this contest. The team who scored first won every contest in this series.

Whatever way you’d like to spin it, the Rangers are moving on to round three while the Penguins face another summer of questions, including what’s next for head coach Dan Bylsma:

As the Penguins ponder what’s next, the Rangers’ focus is simpler: they’ll await their next opponent as the Boston Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens in a Game 7 of their own on Wednesday.

129 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. johnstone17 - May 13, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    I really believe that the difference in the last 3 games was not only Lundqvist, but the Rangers “D” keeping the Penquins outside the dots in their end.

    • theskinsman - May 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      I agree. The Rangers muted the explosiveness of the Pens attack. Well coached, well played, superior goaltending. Great series to watch. I bash the Pens as much as anyone here, but this was the better team moving on.

  2. nashernation - May 13, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Best feeling I’ve felt as A Ranger fan since 94.. Great comeback that started with the King.. Brassard line was outstanding but the fourth line was the biggest boost for this team. I’ve bashed Boyle for years but must say he had a great series. Dangerous team moving foward!

  3. hawkeedawg - May 14, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Hey, I know this is not a thread on this, but I just searched everywhere on the site to contact the writers. I had a post removed and there was nothing wrong with it, there was no swearing, calling other members names etc. It was just about hockey and I would like to know why it was removed.

    Can anyone help me out.

  4. muckleflugga - May 14, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    hawkeedawg

    try posting again … i’ve seen a similar complaint in the past with the blogger denying any knowledge

    • hawkeedawg - May 14, 2014 at 3:48 AM

      Thanks muckle

  5. schlitzy - May 14, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    as a Rangers fan this is a great feeling. finally beating the Pens in the playoffs! we have a long way to go but it does feel good tonight.

    I also have to tip my hat to many of the Pens’ fans tonight on here that are taking this disappointing loss with humility and class! cheers to you guys!! and cheers to the Flyers fans as well that are doing the same despite having good reason to hate on the Rangers right now (even if its only because they hate the Pens more than the Rangers).

    • bbk1000 - May 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Pens fans are classy, certainly classier than the team they support.

      Philly fans, well that’s a different story…..

  6. Eutaw's Finest - May 14, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    All these Pens fans want Disco Dans head on a platter but beware: this has Bruce Boudreau written all over it. Caps were a very very good team under BB but could never get to a cup. They blamed the coach and ousted him, only to find the grass truly isn’t greener on the other side. Since then the Caps organization has been through 3 coaches (waiting on a 4th) and they’ve simply never been the same. Meanwhile BB has revived the Ducks organization and has them still in contention in the 2nd round. And it stings to watch.

    So again: be careful what you wish for.

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