Rangers hold off Caps 2-1 in Game 7

By Ira Podell

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, May 12 2012 9:26 p.m. MDT

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) and New York Rangers' Marian Gaborik (10) react after a goal by Rangers' Michael Del Zotto during the third period of Game 7 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series on Saturday, May 12, 2012, in New York.

Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto scored, Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves, and the New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 over the Washington Capitals.

Richards scored less than two minutes in, and Del Zotto doubled the lead in the third period to help the top-seeded Rangers improve to 5-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden. That set up a matchup with the New Jersey Devils, the team the Rangers beat in the 1994 conference finals en route to their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years.

That series will open Monday in New York.

New York and Washington alternated wins and losses from Game 1 on, and this one didn't come easy for the Rangers, who missed a chance to eliminate the Capitals in Game 6 on the road.

Just 38 seconds after Del Zotto made it 2-0 at 10:05 of the third, Roman Hamrlik sent a shot off of New York forward Derek Stepan that fluttered past Lundqvist for his only blemish of the night.

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