A very bright season for the Rangers got even brighter as they were able to get past the hot Washington Capitals this past weekend. After needing seven games to get past the Ottawa Senators in the first round, the Blue Shirts needed another seven contests to decide their series with the Capitals. It was a grueling and fatigue-filled seven games series which saw two overtime games, one which was completed the next morning. But at the end, the Rangers showed why their one of the league’s best this season, as they moved on to the eastern conference finals and kept their title hopes alive.
Game seven versus the Capitals was set for Saturday night at the sold out and loud Madison Square Garden. It was a win or go home for both the Rangers and Capitals. It took just 90 seconds for Rangers superstar Brad Richards to score the game’s first goal and give NY a 1-0 lead. Both goalies were on top of their game as there were no more scores till midway through the third period when Michael Del Zotto found the back of the net to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. The Capitals’ Roman Hamrlik responded with a goal of his own just 38 seconds later to cut NY’s lead in half. But that would be it as Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist protected the net and the series, as the Rangers won the decisive game seven at home. With the win, the Rangers advanced to eastern conference finals for the first time since 1997, and set up a date with their cross river rivals the New Jersey Devils.
The Rangers Garden neighbors the Knicks, on the other hand, didn’t have such success in their playoff run as they lost their series with the Heat in just five games. The Heat blew away the Knicks in game one, then took a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. The Knicks managed to squeak out a win in game four, only to see the Heat battle back and wrap up the series in game five. The Knicks enter the off season with a dark cloud hanging above them, filled with many unanswered questions for next season. New York has many free agents on their roster, they need to decide if they will bring back Intern Mike Woodson as their fulltime head coach. And can the duo of Anthony and Stoudemire work together effectively?