Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR; audio courtesy of the Penguins:
Game 7: Rangers 2, Penguins 1.
- The Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1 tonight in Game 7 of the Metropolitan Division Finals at CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won the best-of-seven series, four games to three.
- The Blueshirts have an 8-6 record in the playoffs, including a 4-3 record on the road.
- The Rangers improved to 8-5 in 13 Game 7s in franchise history. The Blueshirts have won eight of the last nine Game 7s they have played, dating back to the Patrick Division Semifinals in 1992 against New Jersey. Five of the last six Game 7s the Rangers have played have been decided by a 2-1 score (4-1 record in those contests), including both Game 7s the Blueshirts have played in the 2014 Playoffs.
- New York won a playoff series against Pittsburgh for the first time in franchise history. The series was the fifth time the Rangers and Penguins have faced off against each other in the playoffs.
- The Rangers are advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in the last three seasons. Since the NHL expanded to a four-round playoff format in the 1974-75 season, this is the second time that the Blueshirts have reached the third round of the playoffs twice in a three-season span (1979-1981; advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979 and the Semifinals in 1981).
- The Blueshirts have rallied to win a playoff series after trailing three games to one for the first time in franchise history. Prior to this series, the only time the Rangers had forced a Game 7 in a series when they trailed three games to one was the Semifinals in 1939 against Boston.
- The Rangers are the first team to win two Game 7s on the road in a four-series span since Montreal won Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2010 Playoffs.
- New York has won 10 of its last 12 contests when facing elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 23, 2012 at Ottawa.
- The Blueshirts posted a 3-1 record on the road in the series, and won consecutive road games in the playoffs for the first time since Game 1 and Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington in 2009. The last time the Rangers won three road games in one playoff series was the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2008 against New Jersey.
- New York posted a 4-0 record in the series when recording the first goal of the contest. The Rangers are 7-2 when tallying the game’s first goal in the playoffs.
- The Blueshirts are 6-0 in the playoffs when leading after two periods.
- The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:01) on the power play in the contest. New York tallied three power play goals in the final three games of the series, going 3-for-11 (27.3%) over the span.
- New York was 1-for-1 (0:50) on the penalty kill in the game. The Rangers’ penalty kill is 21-for-22 (95.5%) over the last eight games and was 19-for-20 (95%) in the series.
- The Blueshirts were credited with 33 hits in the contest, as 14 different skaters recorded at least one hit and nine skaters were credited with at least two. The Rangers rank second in the NHL in hits in the playoffs (431; 30.8 hits per game).
- Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves to record his eighth win of the playoffs. The Rangers goaltender has established a new NHL record with his fifth consecutive victory in a Game 7. Lundqvist is 5-1 with a 1.00 GAA, a .965 SV%, and one shutout in six career Game 7s, including a 5-0 record with a 0.80 GAA, a .973 SV%, and one shutout in his last five Game 7s. Lundqvist has also posted a 10-2 record, along with a 1.32 GAA, a .957 SV%, and two shutouts in his last 12 games when the Rangers have faced elimination. The contest was Lundqvist’s 80th consecutive playoff start. Lundqvist is the third goalie in NHL history to make 80 consecutive playoff starts with one team (Martin Brodeur – 194 with New Jersey; Patrick Roy – 133 with Colorado). As of the conclusion of the Rangers’ contest tonight, Lundqvist ranks first in the NHL in wins (eight), second in GAA (1.99), and second in SV% (.931) in the playoffs.
- Brad Richards registered the game-winning goal with a power play tally and recorded two shots on goal in 15:10 of ice time. The Rangers alternate captain has tallied two power play points (one goal, one assist) in the last three contests, and leads the team with two power play goals and four power play points in the playoffs. Richards’ game-winning goal was the ninth of his career in the playoffs, and his first in a Game 7. Richards is tied for ninth among active NHL players, along with Martin St. Louis and Evgeni Malkin, in game-winning goals in the playoffs. The Rangers forward is tied for the team lead in goals (four) and assists (five), and leads the team in points (nine) in the playoffs.
- Brian Boyle tallied the first goal of the contest, led the team with five hits, tied for the game-high with four blocked shots, and won four of six faceoffs (67%) in 15:15 of ice time. The Rangers forward has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in his last eight playoff games on the road. Boyle is tied for the team lead in hits (46) and leads all forwards on the team in blocked shots (20) in the playoffs.
- Martin St. Louis registered an assist, recorded two shots on goal, was credited with two hits, and blocked two shots in 16:11 of ice time. The Rangers forward has recorded a point in consecutive games (one goal, one assist). St. Louis is tied for the team lead in assists (five) and is tied for second on the team in points (eight) in the playoffs.
- Derek Stepan recorded an assist in 17:13 of ice time. The Rangers forward has tallied a point in consecutive games (two assists over the span), and ranks seventh on the team in points (six) in the playoffs.
- Dominic Moore recorded an assist, recorded two shots on goal, and won eight of 16 faceoffs (50%) in 12:32 of ice time. Moore has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in six career Game 7s, including three points (one goal, two assists) in three career Game 7s against the Penguins. The Rangers forward leads the team in faceoff win percentage (53.1%; 77-for-145) in the playoffs.
- Derek Dorsett registered an assist and posted a plus-one rating in 9:08 of ice time. The Rangers forward has tallied two points (two assists) in three career Game 7s.
Alain Vigneault: Vigneault
Sidney Crosby: Crosby
Dan Bylsma: Bylsma
Photo by Getty Images.