Stepan's OT series winner
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) reacts after scoring the winning goal against the Washington Capitals in overtime of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals during the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in New York. The Rangers won 2-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

In the dynamic realm of hockey, the sport offers a plethora of highlights that linger in our memories. The New York Rangers, a team with a rich history, have contributed numerous moments that resonate with many fans. In this feature titled “Remember When,” we delve into some of these moments—some noteworthy, others less so.

In this particular installment of “Remember When,” we revisit the date of May 13th, 2015, when Derek Stepan‘s OT series winner sent Madison Square Garden into a frenzy and the Washington Capitals back home for the summer.

Derek Stepan secured the decisive goal 11:24 into overtime, capitalizing on a rebound from a Dan Girardi shot at the point. The Rangers clinched their second consecutive conference final appearance against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In a remarkable feat, the Rangers etched their name in NHL history by becoming the first team to mount comebacks from 3-1 series deficits in consecutive postseasons, replicating their achievement from the previous season against the Penguins. The Garden proved to be a fortress, witnessing an astounding 10-0 record in elimination games since 2008, including a flawless 6-0 in Game 7 situations. Over the past four years, the team boasts a stellar 14-3 record in elimination games, encompassing the nail-biting moments of Games 5 and 6 in this series.

The Rangers’ penchant for drama continued as they extended their then league record to 14 consecutive postseason games decided by a single goal. Notably, eight of the 12 games played in the current postseason concluded with a 2-1 scoreline.

Throughout most of the overtime period, the Capitals dominated play, bombarding Lundqvist with shots from various angles. However, a pair of iced pucks by the Capitals led to Stepan winning a crucial draw against Eric Fehr. Girardi unleashed a powerful low slap shot from the point, testing the resilience of goaltender Braden Holtby, who had been stellar throughout the series.

Despite Holtby’s 37 saves, a rebound surrendered to Stepan near the left post proved to be the decisive moment, propelling the Rangers to victory.


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