WASHINGTON -- Maybe New York Rangers coach John Tortorella was simply being prophetic when he said Game 7 is when "you make your legacy as a player."
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took another step toward sealing his legacy, stopping 35 shots in a 5-0 win over the Capitals in Game 7 Monday in front of a stunned crowd at the Verizon Center. The shutout was the second straight for Lundqvist against the Capitals and the eighth of his playoff career.
Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Callahan and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Rangers, who rallied back from a 3-2 series deficit and won a Game 7 on the road for the first time in franchise history.
"Anything is possible with Henrik back there," said Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who did a masterful job of holding Rocket Richard Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin to one goal in seven games. "He stands tall. He competes so hard, and it's great to see guys willing to block shots, and he really respects that and honors that and recognizes that."
With the victory, the Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they'll face the Boston Bruins, who staged a stunning rally to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in their Game 7 Monday night. Boston trailed 4-1 in the third period before winning 5-4 in overtime.
For the Capitals, the loss capped another season of failed expectations in the playoffs. Since Ovechkin arrived in Washington in 2007, the Caps have won five division titles and have been to the playoffs six straight years but have never made it past the second round.
"We weren't good enough," said Capitals top-line center Nicklas Backstrom, who had one goal, two assists and was a minus-2 in the series. "Obviously, they played good on us, but we should still score goals. I can only talk for myself, my effort. It was embarrassing. It wasn't good enough. No excuses."
Lundqvist and the Rangers withstood an early barrage by the Capitals before Asham got New York on the board with 6:41 remaining in the first period.
In a pivotal series of events, Capitals defenseman Mike Green saw a clear path to the New York net and took it, only to be stopped by Lundqvist. The Rangers turned the puck the other way, with Chris Kreider feeding Asham for a short-side blast past Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.
The Capitals generated 32 attempts at the net in the first period -- 13 were stopped by Lundqvist, 13 were blocked and six missed the net -- but entered the first intermission trailing by a goal.
"We pushed really hard in the first period," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "(Lundqvist) makes some great saves, they get a lucky one and every bounce went their way tonight."
The Rangers took the game over in the second period when Pyatt and Del Zotto scored their first goals of the playoffs 2 minutes, 10 seconds apart.
Pyatt was alone at the side of the Capitals net when a shot by Steve Eminger caromed off the stick of teammate Derek Dorsett and onto Pyatt's awaiting stick for his ninth career playoff goal.
Del Zotto made it 3-0 on the Rangers' 13th shot on Holtby. The Rangers defenseman found a shooting lane from the top of the left circle, and his shot caromed off the skate of Washington forward Troy Brouwer and through Holtby's pads.
Del Zotto's goal put a hush over the crowd, and Lundqvist did the rest, protecting the lead for his 29th career playoff victory.
Holtby made 22 saves.
"It was probably our best game of the series," Tortorella said. "Henrik was really good early to give us a chance, and then I thought we played really well in front of him. I didn't think coming in it was going to be a 5-0 win the way this series has gone, hut it was our best game of the series."
NOTES: The Capitals are now 3-9 all-time in Game 7s and 2-5 since Ovechkin's playoff arrival in 2008. Ovechkin has two goals and two assists in seven career Game 7s. ... The Rangers are now 6-5 in Game 7s and 1-5 in Game 7s on the road. ... The teams' biggest stars struggled throughout the series. Ovechkin was limited to one goal and one assist, while New York's Rick Nash had just two assists. ... Holtby, 23, played in his third career Game 7. He entered the game 1-1 with a 1.48 GAA and .952 save percentage. ... In three career Game 7s before Monday, Lundqvist was 1-2 with a 1.33 GAA and .946 save percentage. ... Dating back to Game 5 of the 2009 conference quarterfinals, the Capitals are 10-2 in their last 12 home playoff games against the Rangers. Before Monday, their only loss in that span was a triple-overtime defeat in Game 3 of last year's conference semifinals.