Friday, June 22, 2018
Sports

Rangers knock Penguins out

PITTSBURGH — Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had trouble finding the words to describe goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"He's okay," Vigneault said with a small shake of his head.

Except in Game 7s. In Game 7s, Lundqvist is unbeatable.

Frustrating Sidney Crosby and the reeling Penguins one final time, Lundqvist made 35 saves Tuesday night to lift New York to a 2-1 win and a spot in the Eastern Conference final.

"I was so tired at the end," Lundqvist said after setting a record with his fifth straight Game 7 win. "But it was just a great feeling when you know it's a done deal and we did it."

Brian Boyle and Brad Richards scored for New York, which rallied from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the franchise's 88-year history.

Not only that, but the result helps the Lightning.

Under the conditions of the March trade that sent Tampa Bay captain Marty St. Louis to the Rangers for their captain, Ryan Callahan, the Lightning receives a first-round pick in this summer's draft. That provision kicked in with this series win by the Rangers. Had they not reached the East final the pick would have remained a second-rounder.

But if the Lightning re-signs Callahan, a free agent, the Rangers will receive a second-round pick in the 2015 draft and the Lightning will get an additional seventh-round pick that year.

On a power play, Richards took a pass from St. Louis, his former teammate with Tampa Bay, and flipped it into a wide-open net 7:56 into the second period to make it 2-1.

Jussi Jokinen scored his team-high seventh goal of the postseason but the Penguins fell short as Crosby ended the postseason with just one goal.

"I think there's always questions," said Crosby, who had just one goal in the playoffs. "When expectations are high and you don't win that's normal. I'm sure there will be a lot of questions."

Rangers1102
Penguins0101

First1, N.Y. Rangers, Boyle 2 (D.Moore, Dorsett), 5:25. PenaltiesKreider, NYR (holding), 16:37; Neal, Pit (holding), 17:27.

Second2, Pittsburgh, Jokinen 7 (Maatta, Malkin), 4:15. 3, N.Y. Rangers, Richards 4 (St. Louis, Stepan), 7:56 (pp). PenaltiesNiskanen, Pit (tripping), 6:45.

ThirdNone. PenaltiesMcDonagh, NYR (roughing), 14:43; Malkin, Pit (slashing), 14:43. ShotsN.Y. Rangers 7-6-7—20. Pittsburgh 10-13-13—36. Power playsN.Y. Rangers 1 of 2; Pittsburgh 0 of 1. GoaliesN.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 8-6-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Pittsburgh, Fleury 7-6-0 (20-18).

Blackhawks clinch

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Patrick Kane scored off of a rebound 9:40 into overtime to send the Blackhawks to a series-clinching 2-1 victory in Game 6 of their West series against the Wild.

Chicago made the conference final for the fourth time in six seasons, a span that includes two Stanley Cups. Corey Crawford stopped several tough shots among his 34 saves.

Blackhawks10012
Wild01001

First1, Chicago, Versteeg 1, 1:58. PenaltiesHjalmarsson, Chi (tripping), 6:31; Cooke, Min (boarding), 9:15.

Second2, Minnesota, Haula 4 (Cooke, Stoner), 2:29. PenaltiesNone.

ThirdNone. PenaltiesBickell, Chi (high-sticking), 2:12; Hjalmarsson, Chi (delay of game), 7:05. First Overtime3, Chicago, Kane 6 (Seabrook, Keith), 9:40. PenaltiesNone. ShotsChicago 8-8-6-5—27. Minnesota 9-14-7-5—35. Power playsChicago 0 of 1; Minnesota 0 of 3. GoaliesChicago, Crawford 8-4-0 (35 shots-34 saves). Minnesota, Bryzgalov 3-6-0 (27-25).

Late Monday: John Gibson won his second career playoff start and Devante Smith-Pelly scored goals 1:23 apart in the second period as the host Ducks defeated the Kings 4-3 for a 3-2 series lead. The Kings, facing elimination for the fifth time this season, host Game 6 tonight.

Bettman sees Seattle: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman visited Seattle to meet with local elected leaders, including mayor Ed Murray. League spokesman Frank Brown said the meeting was solely to get an update on the status of a new arena being proposed. Legislation calls for an NBA team to be placed in Seattle before an NHL team unless the memorandum of understanding on the project is rewritten.

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