Rangers 5, Capitals 0: Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 35 shots to post his second consecutive shutout and make fourth-liner Arron Asham's first-period goal stand up as New York recorded the franchise's first road victory in a Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference's second round.
Taylor Pyatt and defenseman Michael Del Zotto scored 2:10 apart in the second period and captain Ryan Callahan and Mats Zuccarello also tallied for the sixth-seeded Rangers, who registered the first road win of the series by either team. They'll open the second round on the road against fourth-seeded Boston, which overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to secure a 5-4 overtime victory over Original Six-rival Toronto in Game 7 of their series on Monday.
After stopping all 27 shots he faced in New York's 1-0 win in Game 6 on Sunday, Lundqvist notched his eighth career postseason shutout in impressive fashion. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner stopped 13 shots in each of the first two periods and nine in the third as New York improved to 1-5 in Game 7s.
Lundqvist received all the offense he needed with 6:41 remaining in the first period. After Washington defenseman Mike Green was thwarted on the offensive end, Chris Kreider showed his speed by skating up the right wing. The rookie left a drop pass for Asham, whose shot from just above the right faceoff circle beat Braden Holtby (22 saves) high to the glove side.
New York doubled its advantage 3:24 into the second. Derek Dorsett's bid on a 2-on-1 rush hit the crossbar, but the puck made its way out to the right point. Defenseman Steve Eminger's shot caromed off the skate of Dorsett and right to Pyatt, who made no mistake from the doorstep.
GAME NOTEBOOK: New York posted a 2-1-0 mark versus Boston this season. The Original Six rivals will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1973. ... With Washington on its heels, New York kept the pressure on in the second period as Del Zotto's blast from the left circle deflected off the skate of Capitals RW Troy Brouwer before sailing between the pads of Holtby. ... Del Zotto also scored in the Rangers' 2-1 triumph over the Capitals in Game 7 of the second-round series last season. ... Washington fell to 3-9 in Game 7s. ... Captain Alex Ovechkin bloodied the face of New York D Ryan McDonagh on a vicious check to the boards in the first period. No penalty was called and McDonagh returned to the contest shortly thereafter.