The Washington Capitals won 2-1 to force a decisive seventh game in their National Hockey League playoff series against the New York Rangers.
Alex Ovechkin scored on a power play after one minute, 28 seconds for the home team last night at Verizon Center in Washington. It was Ovechkin’s 30th career playoff goal, tying the franchise record held by Peter Bondra.
Jason Chimera got the second goal 11 minutes into the second period. The Rangers scored with 51 seconds remaining in the third when Marian Gaborik’s shot deflected in off the back of Washington’s John Carlson.
“We caught some bad breaks in the last game, but these guys worked their tails off tonight and got the job done,” Washington coach Dale Hunter told reporters.
The Rangers are 4-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden in New York, which will host the decider on May 12. The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference finals against the New Jersey Devils. This is the seventh playoff series between the Capitals and Rangers, Washington having won four of them.
The Rangers haven’t reached the conference finals since 1997, a year before Washington’s last visit to the third round of the playoffs.
The Devils won their second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers two nights ago to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2003, when they won the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history.
The Rangers won the Stanley Cup for a fourth time in 1994. The Capitals lost in their only trip to the championship round in 1998.