NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan scored 11:24 in overtime, lifting the New York Rangers past the Washington Capitals 2-1 and into the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.
Stepan’s wrist shot from the left wing after he won a faceoff — a rarity for the Rangers— capped a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the series. The Rangers are the only team to manage that in successive years, doing the same thing to Pittsburgh in the second round in 2014.
Alex Ovechkin scored in the first period for Washington, which has lost five Game 7s in as many tries when leading a series 3-1. Kevin Hayes tied it in the second.
New York, which had the NHL’s best record this season, will face Tampa Bay for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals, where the Rangers lost to Los Angeles last spring. The series begins Saturday at Madison Square Garden.