NEW YORK, May 12 (UPI) -- Michael Del Zotto scored in the third period Saturday and the New York Rangers beat Washington 2-1 to take their NHL conference semifinal playoff series.
With the Rangers clinging to a 1-0 lead midway through the final frame, Marian Gaborik took a shot that was blocked by two Washington defenders.
But Del Zotto picked up the loose puck and fired a wrist shot from the slot that went past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, providing what turned out to be the winning margin.
Washington's Roman Hamrlik responded with a goal only 38 seconds later to cut the margin in half, but New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist held on the rest of the way and the Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, winning the decisive Game 7 of their series with Washington.
Lundqvist finished with 22 saves for the top-seeded Rangers, who will face the New Jersey Devils in the conference finals series' Game 1 Monday.
Holtby turned aside 29 shots for the Capitals, who finished an impressive playoff run after barely making the post-season as the East's eighth seed.