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Capitals vs. Rangers 2015 final score: New York eliminates Washington in Game 7

Derek Stepan lit the lamp in overtime, and the New York Rangers are eight wins away from a Stanley Cup championship.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Rangers are heading to the Eastern Conference Final for the second consecutive year.

Henrik Lundqvist stood tall between the pipes, Kevin Hayes got New York on the board and Derek Stepan scored 11:24 into overtime to seal a 2-1 victory that eliminated the Washington Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin found twine 12:15 into the first period with his fifth goal of the playoffs. Nicklas Backstrom won the faceoff, eventually corralled the puck and fed it to Marcus Johansson along the boards; Johansson then fired a pass to a streaking Ovechkin, who found open space in the slot and beat Henrik Lundqvist glove side.

Hayes tied the game 6:22 into the middle stanza with a power play strike. Mike Green took two consecutive penalties -- Washington's third and fourth of the night -- and with 13 left in his second infraction, Hayes received a perfect dish from Dan Girardi and slid the puck past Braden Holtby.

The two netminders were tremendous from start to finish, as Lundqvist and Holtby turned aside 35 and 37 shots, respectively. But when Holtby gave up a juicy rebound with 8:36 left in the extra frame, Stepan took advantage and promptly ended Washington's season.

3 things we learned

1. Ovechkin's guarantee didn't pay off, but he did all he could

Unfairly characterized as someone who doesn't thrive under pressure, Ovechkin continued his stellar spring by notching the first goal of the evening. In two rounds, the Russian superstar earned nine points (five goals, four assists) -- hardly the numbers of a player incapable of rising to the occasion. True, his controversial guarantee backfired, but it'd be grossly unfair to blame him for Washington's shortcomings.

2. Hayes stepped up

Despite a strong regular season in which he racked up 45 points in 79 games, Hayes tallied just one goal and one assist in his first 13 playoff contests. But the 23-year-old rookie came through on Wednesday, scoring New York's first goal on his lone shot of the night.

3. Lundqvist loves the pressure

Lundqvist's winning streak during Game 7s hit six with Wednesday's victory. Additionally, he's now won 10 consecutive elimination matchups at home. The 33-year-old currently has a .944 save percentage during the 2015 playoffs along with a 1.60 goals against average.