Updated 05/13/2012 10:07 AM
Rangers Win Game 7 To Set Up Date With Devils In Conference Finals
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The New York Rangers are going to a place they haven't been in 15 years.
Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto scored for the Blue Shirts and New York held off the Washington Capitals down the stretch to squeak out a 2-1 victory in Saturday night's winner-take-all Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
The win sends the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997, where they'll face the New Jersey Devils for the right to play for the Stanley Cup.
Del Zotto put New York up 2-0 midway through the third period, but the Capitals' Roman Hamrlik scored to pull Washington to within one with 9:17 remaining. The Capitals then had a chance to tie the game with two-minute power play, but the Rangers penalty-killers shut the door – with Brian Boyle even scoring what appeared to be a short-handed goal that ended up being disallowed due to goalie interference.
Henrik Lundqvist finished the game with 22 saves for the Rangers, who improved their record to 5-0 in Game 7's at Madison Square Garden.
New York will now face the Devils in a rematch of their classic 1994 Eastern Conference showdown, when Stephane Matteau's double-overtime goal in Game 7 sent the Rangers onto the Finals and their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years.
Game 1 of the Conference Finals will be Monday at the Garden.