With 10:05 remaining in the final period of a deciding Game 7, the Washington Capitals found themselves trailing the New York Rangers, 2-0. A comeback would be unmistakably difficult. And even though, the Caps would respond with a goal near seconds later, they fell nonetheless by a final score of 2-1 at Madison Square Garden, bringing about an end to their season just short of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The game, which had remained at 1-0 for nearly 50 minutes since a New York goal at the onset of the contest, changed midway through the third period when Michael Del Zotto scored to give the Rangers a commanding two-goal margin. Here's a clip of his goal.
Quickly, though, Washington responded with its first goal of the game on a shot from Roman Hamrlik.
But despite the response, the Capitals were held to just four shots on goal, including Hamrlik's score, over the course of the final 20 minutes, significantly lowering their chance of mounting any sort of come-from-behind win or even to just force overtime.
New York, which began the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East, will now face the No. 6-seeded New Jersey Devils in the conference finals. Here's once last GIF of the goaltenders -- Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby -- afterwards.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates throughout the Capitals and Rangers Eastern Conference semifinal series. For more news and analysis on the Caps, visit Japers' Rink. For news and info from a Rangers perspective during the series, visit Blueshirt Banter. And for all your news on the NHL Playoffs, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.