By Sarah Kwak
OK, so after seeing that wondrous Bruins comeback against Toronto, a game for the ages, the deciding contest between the Rangers and Capitals was — comparatively speaking — a bit of a dud. If you chose to watch the Rangers and Caps over that epic clash, well, I really hope you were getting paid to do it (like me).
Anyway, before Game 7, New York coach John Tortorella predicted that the stars of each team would be the deciding factors and would be the ones to step up and carry their teams. Well, it didn’t go exactly that way Monday night. Yes, Tortorella’s biggest star, goalie Henrik Lundqvist, was glittering once again, making 35 saves and shutting out the Capitals for the second night in a row to send his team to the second round. But Lundqvist can only do so much himself without goal support. Well, the 31-year-old Vezina finalist finally got it, but from unexpected sources. Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt and Michael Del Zotto built a comfortable lead for New York through two periods on the way to an eventual 5-0 win. Aside from Lundqvist, it was the Rangers’ role players that carried this team to the second round.
Some other observations: