The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 in overtime to clinch their spot in the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
New York Ranger center Derek Stepan scored the goal with 8:36, completing the Rangers’ great comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
While not many teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit, 27 teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit and forced the series to Game Seven – which is the situation the Rangers found themselves in.
It was easier for the Rangers to dig out of the 3-1 deficit, as they have a flawless record on winning on home ice in Game 7, now extending their record to seven wins and no losses. They actually crawled out of a 3-1 deficit last year in the quarterfinal round over Pittsburgh.
In a less exciting Game 7, Alexander Ovechkin began the scoring in the first period to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead. Kevin Hayes scored in the second period for the New York Rangers to tie the game and there wasn’t scoring again until overtime.
In the Western conference finals, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Anaheim Ducks. In the Eastern conference finals, the Rangers will face the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Montreal Canadiens were trying to dig out of their own 3-0 deficit against the Lightning in the second round, but ultimately failed, losing the series 4-2 in Game six.
Only four teams have ever came back from a 3-0 deficit, once in 1942, once in 1975 and twice in the last five years – with the Philadelphia Flyers coming back to defeat the Boston Bruins in 2010, and the Los Angeles Kings coming back to defeat the San Jose Sharks in 2014.
Personally, I was rooting for the Ottawa Senators, who lost to the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 after being in a 3-0 deficit. Now, with no Canadian teams left, I’m rooting for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Who do you want to see win the Cup?