RANGERS 2, SENATORS 1: Defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi netted their first respective goals of the series and Vezina Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 26 shots as New York advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a Game 7 victory over visiting Ottawa.
Derek Stepan collected his third assist in two games for the top-seeded Rangers, who will face seventh-seeded Washington in the next round. The Capitals eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins after an NHL-record seven one-goal games. New York and Washington won two games apiece in the regular-season series.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored a power-play goal and Craig Anderson finished with 27 saves for the eighth-seeded Senators, who were unable to put away the Rangers after earning a 3-2 edge in the series.
After a scoreless first period, Staal broke through at the 4:46 mark of the second. After Nick Foligno turned the puck over in the neutral zone, Stepan skated into the zone and wristed a cross-slot feed to Staal, who directed the puck into the open net.
Girardi doubled the advantage 4:18 later after jumping into the play and blasting a shot from in close which sailed just under the crossbar for his first career playoff goal.
With his team on the power play, Alfredsson trimmed the deficit exactly 2 1/2 minutes later after his one-timer from the left faceoff circle beat Lundqvist inside the near post.
Anderson kept the game scoreless in the first period after thwarting Marian Gaborik on a 2-on-1 advantage. The netminder then denied rookie Carl Hagelin's rebound attempt.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson was named a Norris Trophy finalist on Thursday. Karlsson led all blue-liners in goals (19) and assists (59). ... New York scored the first goal of the series in five of seven games. ... The Senators have dropped their last five Game 7s, dating back to 2004. ... Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was in attendance.