With a trip to the conference finals at stake, the Rangers were able to knock out the team that had eliminated them in their last two playoff appearances.

Brad Richards lit the lamp a little more than 90 seconds into the Rangers-Capitals, Eastern Conference Semifinals win or go home Game 7, helping New York to an eventual 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden.

Michael Del Zotto gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the third period before Roman Hamrlik cut the deficit in half. But a stout defense, backed by 22 saves from their MVP candidate goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, held Alex Ovechkin and Washington to just one goal.

Caps goalie Braden Holtby, just 22 years old, performed equally well throughout the series.

Despite holding the top seed in the East, the blue shirts have gone to seven games in each of their first two series this postseason.  They'll host the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the conference finals on Monday night at MSG (8:00).