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Rangers, Capitals meet in third Game 7 in four years

by NHL Public Relations /

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will decide their Eastern Conference Second Round series in Game 7 Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA). The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Final and face the winner of the Second Round series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The clubs will face off in a Game 7 for the third time in four years and for the fourth time overall, each coming in the past seven seasons. Washington won the first such meeting in 2009, while the Rangers have eliminated the Capitals twice in the past three seasons (2012 and 2013).

Since their elimination by the Capitals in 2009, the Rangers have posted five consecutive Game 7 wins. Their streak is one shy of the NHL record set by the Detroit Red Wings, who won six consecutive Game 7s between 1949 and 1964, and the Boston Bruins, who captured six straight between 1983 and 1994. The Rangers also have won six consecutive Game 7s on Madison Square Garden ice, a streak dating to 1992.

The Rangers also are vying to become the first NHL team to win a best-of-seven series it trailed 3-1 in consecutive years, having overcome a similar deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Second Round series in 2014.

Henrik Lundqvist is one of seven Rangers with five career Game 7 victories. His active five-game winning streak in Game 7s is a League record for goaltenders, as is his feat of allowing one or fewer goals in each of those contests. His 1.00 goals-against average in Game 7s is tied with Johnny Bower and Dwayne Roloson for the lowest all-time (min. 3 GP). A sixth win for Lundqvist would tie him with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy for the most in NHL history.

The Capitals will be contesting a Game 7 for the second consecutive series, having defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at Verizon Center on April 27 to win their deciding contest in the First Round. The club will be playing its ninth Game 7 since 2008, tied with the Boston Bruins for the most in the NHL in that span. Three Capitals have skated in each of their past eight such games: forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Mike Green.

Wednesday's showdown will mark the fifth Game 7 in just three playoff seasons for Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (2-2). He enters the game with a 1.71 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in 12 appearances during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Other Game 7 Notes

* Home teams are 93-65 (.589) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 2-0 in 2015.

* The team that scores first is 117-41 all-time (.741), including a 2-0 mark in 2015.

* Thirty-nine Game 7s have required overtime (39-of-158, 24.7%). Road teams enjoy a narrow edge, 20-19 (.513).

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