Rangers top Ottawa to advance in Stanley Cup playoffs
(AP) - Rangers defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi scored 4:18 apart in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves and top-seeded New York eliminated the pesky eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators from the playoffs with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 on Thursday night. Staal broke the scoreless deadlock, and Girardi gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead with his first career NHL playoff goal. Lundqvist allowed Daniel Alfredsson's power-play goal in the second but stood tall the rest of the way to send the Rangers into an Eastern Conference second-round matchup with the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals. The Rangers hadn't hosted a Game 7 since their Stanley Cup victory over Vancouver in 1994, but they stayed perfect at home in deciding games - winning their fourth. Lundqvist withstood tons of pressure from the Senators, who spent most of the closing 5 minutes in the Rangers' end.The Rangers will next face the Washington Capitals in round two.