The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 13, 2014

NHL playoffs: Rangers G Lundqvist stands tall, eliminates Penguins

Rangers complete first rally from 3-1 deficit

By The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Henrik Lundqvist set an NHL record with his fifth straight Game 7 victory, making 35 saves to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and earn a spot in the Eastern Conference finals.

Brian Boyle and Brad Richards scored for New York, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the franchise's 88-year history.

The Rangers did it behind Lundqvist, who stopped 102 of the final 105 shots he faced over the final three games as New York advanced to the conference finals for the second time in three years.

The Rangers will play the winner of the Bruins-Canadiens series in the conference finals. That series is tied 3-3 and Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Jussi Jokinen scored his team-high seventh goal of the postseason for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves for the Penguins, who were outscored 10-3 over the final three games.

The Penguins fell to 2-7 all time at home in Game 7s, including three such losses in the past four seasons.

This one might have been the most painful for the core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and coach Dan Bylsma that seemed pointed toward a dynasty after winning the 2009 Stanley Cup.

Crosby, who led the league in scoring and is an MVP finalist, managed just one goal in 13 playoffs games.

Just as importantly, five springs have now come and gone without Pittsburgh getting a Cup to bookend the one they hoisted in Detroit and changes could be on the way.

The Penguins are just 4-5 in playoff series over the past five seasons, with each loss coming to lower-seeded teams.

There are no such Game 7 issues for the Rangers. Not with Lundqvist in net.

He lost his first Game 7 appearance to Washington in 2009, but has been unbeatable ever since. His fifth straight triumph in a deciding game is a new league mark, breaking a tie he shared with Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour and Cam Ward.

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