Seriously, did any of you see that coming three hours ago? Besides the five goals that were scored tonight, Henrik Lundqvist was the man yet again. The King posted back to back shutouts in Game's six and seven, which is a major reason why the New York Rangers are moving on to face the Boston Bruins in the semi-finals.
If you watched the opening minutes of this game, there's no way anyone could have predicted the outcome of this game. The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers were trading blow for blow during the first few minutes of this game. Bodies were flying, scoring chances were off the charts, but yet the score somehow remained 0-0. That was until Arron Asham broke the scoreless drought with just under seven minutes remaining in the third period.
After just committing a terrible turnover just a few seconds prior, Chris Kreider makes this goal happen as he carries the puck up ice, and drops the puck off to Arron Asham. What happened next was well....completely unexpected. Asham wound up and unleashed an absolute bomb of a slap shot from the right faceoff circle, and beat Braden Holtby over the glove.
Fast forward to the second period, and well....you have two more unexpected recipients of the next two Ranger goals. Just three minutes into the second period, the Rangers were starting to pick up the pressure in the Capitals zone. Steve Eminger finally put a point shot on net, that was deflected by Derek Dorsett, and later slammed home by none other than Taylor Pyatt. This goal was a typical Taylor Pyatt goal, and it's a complete replica of how he scored his goals during the regular season. Park yourself in front of the net, and clean up the loose pucks.
Exactly two minutes later, Michael Del Zotto converted on a strange bounce, but this goal doesn't happen without a beautiful cross-ice feed from Derick Brassard. We later found out that the apparent shot from Del Zotto was actually an intended pass for Mats Zuccarello, that wound up deflected off of the defenseman's skate, and beat Holtby through the five hole.
With the Rangers heading into the third period with their first three goal lead of the series, the Rangers couldn't afford to sit back on the lead. Especially with what had just transpired in that Bruins/Leafs game earlier in the evening. Ryan Callahan stepped up just 13 seconds into the third period, and buried a beautiful goal on the breakaway to put the Rangers up 4-0. Just prior to the goal, Callahan puts a tremendous amount of pressure on John Erskine, and forces him into making a mistake which directly lead to the eventual goal.
With the game practically out of reach for the Capitals, Derick Brassard made yet another beauty of a pass to Mats Zuccarello which made it 5-0. The move was just as good as the pass was, as Zuccarello practically faked Holtby out of his pants on the move, and jammed it home on the empty net.
The Rangers eventually closed out the game with the Capitals not putting forth much effort after the fifth goal, and came away with the series clincher, by a score of 5-0. While Lundqvist was great yet again, the entire team stepped up in a big way tonight. That win is something they should definitely be proud of tonight. But as soon as tomorrow rolls around? All focus shifts to the Boston Bruins. See you all Thursday night.