Rangers Vs. Capitals Game 7: New York Wins, 2-1, Sets Date With NJ

Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto each scored and Henrik Lundqvist did the rest, helping the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and a date with the Devils.

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Rangers Vs Capitals, Game 7: Puck Possession Key To New York's Survival

The New York Rangers made a series of adjustments to their puck possession and defense to carry them to victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 7.

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Rangers Goal Disallowed In Third Period: Right Call?

If the Rangers lose Game 7, we're never going to hear the end of this one. With a 2-1 lead and the Capitals on the power play, the puck seemed to go in the net behind Braden Holtby. The Caps goalie made the initial save, but then was bumped by Dennis Wideman. The puck clearly crossed the goal line upon review, but the officials quickly waived it off after conferring with the video evidence.

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We're not sure of the real explanation because the referee forgot to turn his mic on while explaining things to the Madison Square Garden crowd, but there seem to be two possibilities:

- The old "intent to blow" rule. The ref thought the puck was covered, and even though he didn't blow his whistle, he had intended to and just couldn't do it quickly enough. No goal.

- The officials said that Brian Boyle bumped Holtby (there was slight contact with Boyle's skate and Holtby's leg), pushing him into a position where he couldn't make the save. Incidental contact isn't goalie interference, but the goal is always waived off in that case.

We'd know the real answer if NHL officials knew where the on button was on their mics. But, alas.

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Capitals Vs. Rangers Score: New York Takes 2-0 Lead, But Washington Fights Back

It certainly felt like that would just about do it. The Rangers grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to a fantastic shift by Michael Del Zotto midway through the third period. Del Zotto stole a puck away from Alex Ovechkin on the wall, and after his team moved up ice while the Caps made a line change, Del Zotto jumped into open ice and ripped a shot that beat Braden Holtby.

It's was mind-boggling that the Capitals weren't able to generate much pressure early in the third, but man, that's the beauty of hockey. All it took was one shift after the goal to get them right back into the game. Roman Hamrlik put a little floater of a shot on goal after jumping into some open space much like Del Zotto had moments earlier at the other end, and just like that, we've got a 2-1 hockey game.

Can the Capitals keep up the pressure? It'll be interesting to see how Dale Hunter works his players in the remainder of this third period as they try to grab the lead.

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Rangers Not Letting Capitals Sustain Pressure Early In Third Period

I honestly expected the Capitals to come out swarming in the third, but the Rangers haven’t allowed them to sustain much pressure.

There have been five faceoffs in the first 6:13 of the third. The Capitals have won just one of them, and it was in the neutral zone. New York has won all three faceoffs at either end of the ice — two in the Capitals' zone, one in their own zone.

Sort of unacceptable if you’re Washington.

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It Doesn't Appear The Capitals Will Go Down Lightly

Okay, remember that thing we said about the Rangers not sitting back? That was before a silly-long shift by the Capitals, where Washington kept New York pinned in their own end for what seemed like an eternity. Washington was on the forecheck, beating the Rangers to pucks, moving the puck effectively and getting the Rangers out of position.

The shots aren’t getting through all the way, but Henrik Lundqvist has been fantastic when they have. New York better hope this changes quickly, or John Tortorella’s going to need to take a time out.

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That's Gonna Leave A Mark, Brooks Laich

Brooks Laich, ladies and gentlemen. Because It's The Cup, etc.

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Mike Milbury Thinks Dale Hunter Needs To 'Fluff Some Pillows'

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you have any clue what Mike Milbury is talking about here. Like, any clue at all.

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Seriously, Stop Trying To Hit Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin is a dominant physical specimen. In the first round against Boston, he made Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg look like a rag doll on two separate occasions, and in Game 7 against the Rangers on Saturday night, he did the same to defenseman Dan Girardi.

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Stop trying to hit No. 8 of the Capitals. It's not going to work.

(Also, solid work from the linesman here can't go unnoticed.)

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Capitals Vs. Rangers, Game 7: New York's Top Line Dominant In Period 1

Shots may have ended up even at 8-8 between the Rangers and Capitals in the first period, but that’s misleading. The Rangers picked up plenty of solid chances and controlled zone time for much of the first 20 minutes.

Why? It all stems back to the Rangers’ top line. Brad Richards, Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik wound up with eight-to-nine even-strength shifts in the first, and many of them were head-to-head against the Capitals' line of Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Chimera.

It’s looked like a total mismatch early on, as the Rangers' top guys have controlled the puck and their opponents just look out of sorts. Will that continue for the latter 40 minutes? If it does, Washington is in trouble. They need Semin and Backstrom to produce for them, and they certainly can’t have them getting owned by the opposition.

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Rangers Top Line Running All Over Capitals Early In Game 7

We’re less than 10 minutes into Game 7 and it’s already apparent that Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards are going to be a force for the New York Rangers in this one. They have a goal, obviously, but on each of their five shifts early in the game they’ve created chances and kept Washington pinned in their own end. They’ve combined for four shot attempts in those five shifts.

It doesn’t take an expert to realize that’s something the Caps have to corral. They can’t let those three run all over them in their own end, and it all starts with winning a few board battles.

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VIDEO: John Tortorella's Press Conferences Remixed By Hockey Night In Canada

DJ Steve Porter is best known for his Allen Iverson "Press Hop" remix, but he's since gone far beyond that. Now, he's apparently on the payroll of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and his latest work? A remix of John Tortorella's press conferences.

It aired on CBC's Hockey Night In Canada before Game 7.

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Rangers Vs. Capitals Lineups: Jay Beagle Out Again In Game 7

The Capitals and Rangers are on the ice for warmups prior to Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Let’s take a look at the lineups for both teams.

Here’s the lineup for the Rangers, via the Bergen Record:

Carl HagelinBrad RichardsMarian Gaborik
Chris KreiderDerek StepanRyan Callahan
Ruslan FedotenkoBrian BoyleArtem Anisimov
Mike RuppJohn MitchellBrandon Prust

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalAnton Stralman
Michael Del ZottoStu Bickel

And for the Capitals, via the Washington Times:

Alex OvechkinBrooks LaichTroy Brouwer
Jason ChimeraNicklas BackstromAlexander Semin
Marcus JohanssonMatt HendricksJoel Ward
Keith AucoinJeff HalpernMike Knuble

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson
Roman HamrlikMike Green
Jeff SchultzDennis Wideman

Jay Beagle remains out of the lineup for the Capitals for the second straight game with a knee injury.

For all news and information regarding the Washington Capitals, please visit Japers' Rink or check out SB Nation DC. For updates and perspective on the New York Rangers, head on over to Blueshirt Banter or stop by SB Nation New York. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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Dale Hunter Leads Washington Capitals To Brink Of Another Upset

Dale Hunter's still the butt of jokes in the hockey world, but he deserves more credit than he's received for the Capitals' success in these playoffs.

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