Carcillo gave the Rangers the lead with the first of their two second-period goals, and Henrik Lundqvist did just enough to hold off the Philadelphia Flyers and send New York into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 win on Wednesday night.
Carcillo was added to the lineup, after he sat out the previous two games, and the move paid instant dividends. He turned a crisp pass into his second goal of the series at 3:06 of the middle frame.
“When you’re in, you try to do something to stay in, whether it be offensively or bring a lot of energy,” Carcillo said. “That’s just what I was trying to do every time I was in this series.”
“No one was jittery. We all knew what to do,” Carcillo said. “On this team, no one was shying away from the big stage.”
Lundqvist watched the third period of Game 6 from the bench, and started his preparation then for Wednesday.
“Coming home last night, I was so disappointed,” said Lundqvist, who improved to 4-1 in Game 7s. “But at the same time, I was mad because we couldn’t come up with a better performance. To play a Game 7 at home and to win, that was the inspiration.
“We played a really strong series. I think we were the better team. We pushed the pace almost every game. We definitely earned this one.”
The Rangers knocked out the Flyers about 24 hours after being pushed to the limit, improving to 6-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden. New York will face another Metropolitan Division rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the next round starting on Friday.
Mason, who didn’t start until Game 4 because of a concussion he admitted to after the game Wednesday, was sharp in stopping 31 shots. He just couldn’t will his club to a complete comeback after the Flyers fell into a 3-2 series hole.
“Game 7, lose 2-1, it doesn’t get any closer than that,” Giroux said. “We did a good job staying in the battle. We have a lot of character in this room, and for a young team I think it’s great. This is only going to make us stronger.”
No team won consecutive games in the series. The Rangers, who finished two points ahead of Philadelphia during the regular season, made the most of their home-ice advantage by taking three of four in the Garden.