NEW YORK — Dominic Moore scored in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist bounced back from his worst performance in the playoffs and the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens, 1-0, on Thursday night to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Rangers are in the championship round for the first time since winning it all in 1994. To celebrate, the Empire State Building was immediately lit up in Rangers colors.
Lundqvist and the Rangers shook off a 7-4 road loss Tuesday night to take out the Canadiens on home ice in Game 6.
Lundqvist needed to make only 18 saves to tie the team record for playoff shutouts with nine. He was pulled after allowing four goals in less than two periods Tuesday.
"It feels so unbelievable," Lundqvist said. "The way we responded here, I think we played one of our best periods of the whole playoffs in the third period, when it mattered the most. You just have to get fired up and go out and play. The guys did such a great job. It was not hard."
Lundqvist had been 0-5 since 2009 in non-Game 7 clinching games. He leaped several times in his crease with his hands raised as streamers were fired off from the rafters.
The Rangers don't have a captain, so assistants Brad Richards, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, were called to accept the Prince of Wales Trophy. The whole team joined them and posed for a full squad photo while the Garden rocked with yells of "We Want The Cup!"
Montreal's Dustin Tokarski, who replaced injured No. 1 goalie Carey Price after Game 1, was solid in making 31 saves.
Montreal made one final push after Tokarski was pulled for an extra skater with 1 minute 53 seconds left. Lundqvist held off the Canadiens as fans chanted "Hen-rik! Hen-rik!"
The Rangers broke the deadlock late in the second period after some good grinding work in the left corner by rugged forward Derek Dorsett. The puck came free to defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who sent it behind the net to Brian Boyle in the right corner. Boyle spotted Moore alone in the crease and fed a crisp pass for a hard shot that got through Tokarski with 1:53 left.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times