Saturday’s Three Stars: Richards, Lundqvist propel Rangers over Capitals and into East finals

Harrison Mooney

Oh my god the contrast in their facial expressions...

No. 1 Star: Brad Richards, New York Rangers

Richards scored the first goal in Game 7 versus the Washington Capitals just 1:32 after the opening puck drop, a one-timer from the right circle on a feed from Carl Hagelin.

It was the game's lone goal until the 10-minute mark of the third period, when the two teams traded goals in a span of 38 seconds. Richards added 4 shots, and won 14 faceoffs in the Rangers' 2-1 win.

No. 1 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Lundqvist was nigh unbeatable in his second Game 7 at Madison Square Garden in two weeks, stopping 22 of 23 shots he faced and staking the Rangers to a victory and a date with the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals.

No. 3 Star: Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers

Del Zotto picked up the second assist on the Brad Richards' goal, then he scored the second Ranger goal himself, knocking Alex Ovechkin off the puck at the New York blueline and tracking the play down to the other end for the insurance goal.

Honourable mention: Braden Holtby was excellent, making 29 saves in the loss ... Brooks Laich won 11 of 19 faceoffs, took an absolute beating, taking a shot to the ankle and a puck to the face, and added an assist ... Marion Gaborik had a game-high 6 shots ... Marc Staal blocked 5 shots ... here's your handshake line:

Dishonourable mention: Not that it mattered in the end, but I'm still not entirely sure why the Rangers' shorthanded goal was disallowed. Dennis Wideman drove Holtby into the goal. It looked to me like it should have counted.