x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

NHL: Henrik Lundqvist stops Washington Capitals charge

New York Rangers win to keep series alive at 3-3 in the eastern play-offs.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for the New York Rangers. Adam Hunger / Reuters
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for the New York Rangers. Adam Hunger / Reuters

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for his seventh career play-off shut-out and Derick Brassard scored midway through the second period to help host the New York Rangers force Game 7 in their NHL Eastern Conference first-round series with the Washington Capitals.

Brassard fired a shot from the high slot through traffic for his team-leading seventh point as the Rangers continued the trend of the home team winning every game in the series.

Lundqvist stopped eight shots in the first period, seven in the second and 12 in the third.

Alex Ovechkin, the Washington captain, drove into the slot less than a minute after Brassard's tally and fired a wrist shot that Lundqvist turned aside to preserve the lead.

Braden Holtby finished with 28 saves for the Capitals, who host Game 7 on Monday.

Holtby was pulled with less than 90 seconds remaining, but Washington was unable to beat Lundqvist, who recorded three shutouts during New York's run to the conference finals last season. The Rangers' netminder turned aside numerous chances by Ovechkin, Eric Fehr and defenceman Mike Green in the final minutes.

Washington ran into penalty trouble in the first period and again in the third, when Green was called for cross-checking late in the contest after bloodying the mouth of Rangers winger, Derek Dorsett.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Boston Bruins 1

James Reimer stopped 29 shots while captain Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel scored in the third period as Toronto won its first home play-off game in nine years to force Game 7 at Boston.

Phaneuf drove to the net and redirected a shot from the top of the slot by Nazem Kadri past Tuukka Rask 1:48 into the third for the fifth-seeded Maple Leafs, who lost three of the first four games of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Kessel put a loose puck to his backhand and beat Rask from the doorstep at 8:59 for the eventual winner.

Milan Lucic scored in the final minute of the contest to halve Boston's deficit.

Rask finished with 24 saves for the fourth-seeded Bruins, who host Game 7 on Monday.

Reimer, who has allowed two goals on 74 shots since surrendering the overtime winner in Game 4, came within 26 seconds of registering his first career play-off shut-out.

Boston pulled Rask with 1:37 left in the contest and Lucic tapped in a centering feed by Jaromir Jagr for his first tally of the series.

Midway through the second period, Reimer dived across the crease to thwart a wraparound attempt by Patrice Bergeron, who finished with four shots.

Rask made a glove save on a one-timer by Phaneuf in the dying seconds of the session, setting the stage for Phaneuf's first play-off goal since April 15, 2008 early in the third.

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