PITTSBURGH, Pa. – 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 post-season 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.
BLACKHAWKS 2, WILD 1, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)—Patrick Kane scored on a backhand at 9:42 of overtime to lift Chicago over Minnesota in Game 6 to clinch their second-round Western Conference series.
Kris Versteeg scored at 1:58 of the first and Corey Crawford came up with tough save after tough save among his 34 stops for the Blackhawks, who advanced to the Western Conference finals to meet either Anaheim or Los Angeles. Anaheim leads that series 3-2 and Game 6 is Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Erik Haula scored and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots for the Wild, who pushed a frenetic pace for much of the night but missed prime chances to score.
They paid for it in the extra period, when a simple dump-in by Brent Seabrook took an unusual bounce back toward the slot. The puck slid past Peter Regin but not Kane, who deked once and flipped it into the net.