While the second period of the Capitals and the Rangers' Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was a stalemate of brilliance between goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby, the third period was defined by two goals that came within a minute of each other. One was by the Rangers' Michael Del Zotto, the other by the Caps' Roman Hamrlik. The Caps couldn't get the equalizer despite pulling Holtby with more than a minute to go, and the Rangers clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils with a 2-1 win.
Lundqvist was the unquestioned MVP of this game, stopping everything he possibly could and finishing with 22 saves.The one goal he allowed came on a deflection he didn't even see. He was aided greatly by his defense. The Rangers deflected an unbelievable amount of shots before they ever got to Lundqvist, and that effort was led by a splendid performance from Dan Girardi. Del Zotto's goal looked like a dagger before Hamrlik's answer, but the puck was dominated by the Rangers' offense in the final period — the Blueshirts more than doubled the Caps' shots on goal, even with an empty net at the end.
The Capitals played a hell of a series, led by game after game of lockdown goaltending by Holtby. Ultimately, they were doomed by their inability to score multiple goals despite featuring Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Holtby finished with 29 saves in this one, but it wasn't enough. With an offense that sputtered time and again — a death sentence against a goalie like Lundqvist — there just wasn't enough there to take Game 7 in Madison Square Garden.
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