The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup conference semi-finals Thursday, winning their opening round series in seven games over tough Eastern Conference opponents.
Rookie Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the game in double overtime to lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. New Jersey will face the Philadelphia Flyers in the semi-finals.
"They are a good team and they got a lot of offence so I have to tip my hat to them," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said of the Senators. "This series win is going to help us through the rest of the draw."
The Capitals also needed a game seven on Wednesday to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal for the Senators, who were looking to win a playoff series for the first time since advancing to the Stanley Cup finals five years ago.
Goaltender Craig Anderson kept his team in it for all three periods, finishing with 27 saves.
"We're not happy with the result, but we thought we played real good and that it was a real good series," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean.
The win comes one day after Lundqvist was named as one of three finalists for the NHL's Vezina Trophy for the league's top goaltender.
Lundqvist helped the Rangers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. He posted a record of 39-18-5 in 62 regular season games, setting a career high for wins this season.
"With him back there we are a more confident team," said Callahan. "He has played good for us all year."
New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur recorded 43 saves for the Devils, who advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in five years.
Henrique opened the scoring with his first career playoff goal then bagged the overtime winner by beating Florida goalie Jose Theodore with a wrist shot through the legs.
"This is a huge win for us and it will give us momentum going forward," said Henrique. "We had to stay confident. It was an up and down series but if we keep forechecking then we are going to be all right."
Source: AFP American Edition