The Washington Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round after a 2-1 loss in overtime Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
The Capitals have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Rangers three times in the past four years, twice from the second round. Washington has not been to the Eastern Conference Final since 1998.
"I don't know what to say," captain Alex Ovechkin said following the loss. "They're a great team, but we deserve a better result."
Here are five reasons the Capitals were eliminated:
The New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season with a 2-1 overtime win against the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-7 second-round series for the second consecutive season. Last season they rallied against the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning Game 7 in Pittsburgh.
New York is 7-0 at home in Game 7 and will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the conference final. Game 1 is Saturday at MSG (1 p.m., NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Evgeny Svechnikov will do whatever it takes to realize his dream of playing in the National Hockey League.
The 6-foot-2, 199-pound left-handed shot is on that path after finishing his first season in North America as the second-highest rookie scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 78 points in 55 regular-season games. He also had 32 goals, a plus-19 rating with 70 penalty minutes.
Svechnikov is regarded as a power forward but has the creativity and hands to skate the puck through defenders and power his way to the net. Many scouts believe he has a pro-caliber shot.
* The Rangers improved to 9-5 all-time in Game 7s, including a 7-0 record at home (all since 1992). They are the only team in League history to play at least four Game 7s at home and win each of them.
* Kevin Hayes tied the score at 1-1 with his power-play goal at 6:22 of the second period. The Elias Sports Bureau says the Rangers overcame a deficit (of any margin) to win a Game 7 for the first time in franchise history.
* Since losing to the Capitals in seven games in the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Rangers have won six straight Game 7s. That matches the NHL record set by the Detroit Red Wings from 1949-64 and equaled by the Boston Bruins from 1983-94.
NEW YORK -- Challenge the New York Rangers with any type of adversity, any type of style of play, physical or otherwise, and really any type of opponent other than the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings, and they will not break.
"You can't ever count this group out regardless of what happens," New York captain Ryan McDonagh said.
No one ever should; the Rangers have proven at least that much in two seasons under coach Alain Vigneault.
They are back in the Eastern Conference Final for a second straight season because for a second straight season they found a way to recover from a 3-1 deficit in the second round.
Beyond the personnel, watching the Lightning play in the second round against the Montreal Canadiens was, for the Rangers, like seeing a mirror image.
"Speed versus speed," is how left wing Carl Hagelin described what to expect in the Eastern Conference Final, with Game 1 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). "Two fast teams."
He proved his point Wednesday in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden. The win was New York's third straight against the Capitals after falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-7 series. The Rangers will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
Lundqvist made 35 saves on the way to winning his sixth straight Game 7, tying Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy for the most career Game 7 victories in Stanley Cup history.