The New York Rangers knew they needed a big offensive game in order to beat the Washington Capitals in game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Nobody was expecting them to erupt like this.
The Rangers scored five goals and routed the Capitals. Once again, the depth of the Rangers proved to be the difference as the third and fourth lines came up with the first two goals that set the tone. Arron Asham had the first goal off a nice drop pass from rookie Chris Kreider. Asham blew a slap shot by Braden Holtby on the glove side to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, Taylor Pyatt scored the second goal off a juicy rebound by Holtby. The Rangers third line of Pyatt, Brian Boyle, and Derek Dorsett has been a surprise. They play great defense and can score garbage goals in the dirty areas of the ice. Michael Del Zotto gave the Rangers a three-goal cushion on a shot that hit off a Capital’s skate and went in.
Any chance of a Capitals comeback was quickly put away at the start of the third period. Captain Ryan Callahan stole the puck and scored on a breakaway thirteen seconds in. This was Callahan’s first goal of the series and it came on a classic Callahan play. And then for insurance, Mats Zuccarello deked Holtby out of his jock off a beautiful feed from Derick Brassard to give the Rangers a 5-0 lead. Brassard registered nine points in the last five games of this series taking over as the number one center in between Zuccarello and Rick Nash.
The Rangers will need to find a way to keep the ball rolling with this offense. They will face the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.